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VCSU Winter Commencement set for 3:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 14

Dec 11, 2023

A graduation board with Teach, Love, Inspire written on the top.

Valley City, ND – Valley City State University (VCSU) will host winter commencement at 3:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 14, in Vangstad Auditorium. See the full commencement program here.

President Alan LaFave will preside over the commencement exercises. Curtis Biller, will represent the State Board of Higher Education (SBHE). The undergraduate reflections will be presented by graduating senior, Cora Potts, and the faculty reflections will be presented by Dr. Teather Sundstrom.

The in-person ceremony will also be live-streamed at The program for the event is available online at

Potts will receive a Bachelor of University Studies and an Art Minor. She grew up in Bertha, MN, and attended VCSU to play softball and study art. She returned this fall to complete her bachelor’s degree as she prepares for her career in education. Potts currently works as a substitute teacher for Valley City Public Schools and spends most days at Washington Elementary (4-6) and the Junior/Senior High (7-12). She will be teaching 7th grade math in January and next fall plans to teach K-6 art. Potts enjoys working with, and building relationships with learners of all ages and has enjoyed the small community feeling of VCSU.

Dr. Teather Sundstrom is the lead chemistry professor at VCSU and serves as the chair of the Curriculum Committee. Originally from Oriska, ND, Sundstrom earned her Chemistry degree from the University of North Dakota and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Connecticut. She served as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Kansas in the Medicinal Chemistry program. Sundstrom received the Senior Faculty Excellence Award in 2023 for her exceptional dedication and commitment to students and the University through outstanding teaching, scholarly activities, and university service. She loves sharing her passion for chemistry with students and strives to demonstrate that it’s not as intimidating a subject as its reputation suggests.

LaFave is in his 5th year as president of VCSU. Prior to his presidency, he was the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D.
For more information or to arrange an interview contact Tammy Jo Anderson Taft by emailing, or calling 701-845-7227.