Verdigre native Keylee Forker was among 67 students to graduate from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. Forker was also recognized as an honors scholar.
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts challenged the graduates to pursue their agricultural professions with vigor while producing food and agricultural technologies around the globe, and to treat others with love and respect during commencement exercises on Thursday.
Earning a paycheck and being a viable member of society is important, but so is stewardship of community and compassion and love for others, Ricketts said to 67 NCTA graduates.
The Governor joined University of Nebraska leaders in remarks which kicked off the first commencement among five campuses having observances on May 5-7.
NU President Hank Bounds, NU Regent Bob Phares of North Platte, and UNL Chancellor-elect Ronnie Green also delivered messages before NCTA Dean Ron Rosati presented the Class of 2016 to the audience of 450-plus who filled the gymnasium at the Curtis Memorial Community Center.
“By achieving this goal, you have demonstrated your work ethic, dedication and intelligence,” said Rosati. “I encourage you to use those skills and your new credentials in the service of others.”
Trevor Schipporeit, a 2014 graduate of Anselmo-Merna High School, was class valedictorian, and graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA. He will attend UNL this summer and fall, continuing on for a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness.
Class salutatorian was Ryleigh Rainey of Mud Lake, Idaho, who also earned a 4.0 GPA in her NCTA career. She completed courses in December and was unable to attend graduation.
Jennifer McConville, NCTA assistant dean, introduced Student Senate representatives, members of Phi Theta Kappa, the honorary society, and presented 20 honor graduates who had a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 and above.
The Class of 2016 had one of the highest percentages of honor scholars in recent years:
Summa cum laude, 4.0 GPA – Trevor Schipporeit, Merna, and Ryleigh Rainey, Mud Lake, Idaho.
Magna cum laude, 3.75-3.99 GPA – Nolan Breece, Holdrege; Kylee Cadwallader, Dunning; Desarae Catlett, Broken Bow; Michelle Connelly, Grand Island; and Ross Steward, Littleton, Colo.
Cum laude, 3.5-3.74 GPA – Shelby Bahe, Brady; Calvin DeVries, Fairfield; Aaron Doxon, Maywood; Keylee Forker, Verdigre; Aaron Jensen, Goehner; Rebekah Lamberson, Prague; Alexis Olsen, Hemingford; Wyat Overturf, Sutton; Amelia Petska, Blue Hill; Haley Rogers, Lexington; Elaine Streff, Hastings; Lindsey Sughroue, Bartley; and Samantha Sybrant, Bruning.
Connelly, a veterinary technology student, gave the invocation. Catlett, an agricultural production systems major in agronomy, delivered the benediction.