UND President Robert Kelley presides over record final Winter Commencement before his retirement


David L. Dodds

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UND President Robert Kelley presides over record final Winter Commencement before his retirement

Chanise Nichole Willis, a computer science major from Eden Prairie, Minn., has a special distinction in addition to being a new graduate of the University of North Dakota.

On Friday, Dec. 18, Willis was the last UND student to cross the graduation stage and shake the hand of President Robert Kelley, who will officially retire on Jan. 14, after nearly eight years as head of the state’s flagship University. She graduated magna cum laude.

Her moment with the president put a cap on two-days of commencement activities at UND’s Chester Fritz Auditorium, where a record winter graduating class was eligible to receive degrees and certificates. Nearly 1,000 students were eligible to participate in this year’s winter commencement, according to Fred Wittmann, head of ceremonies and special events. For the first ever, UND held three separate ceremonies over two days, versus a single-day event, to make for a shorter and more enjoyable experience for graduates and their friends and families.

Watch the events:

All three ceremonies also will be telecast live locally on Grand Forks Cable Channel 3. The ceremony will be rebroadcast on Channel 3 on Tuesday, Dec. 22 through Friday, Dec. 25, with the Graduate ceremony at showing at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on those days. The undergraduate ceremonies will run back to back, beginning at noon and 8 p.m.

DVDs of the ceremony will be available for purchase at the UND Bookstore. To obtain a copy, contact the UND Bookstore at 701.777.4980

Free video downloads:

Free video downloads of the ceremonies will be available on Vimeo by Wednesday, Dec. 23:

Graduate and Professional Degree Ceremony (3 p.m., Dec. 17)

Undergraduate Degree Ceremony (1 p.m., Dec. 18)

Undergraduate Degree Ceremony (4 p.m., Dec. 18)

David Dodds University & Public Affairs writer

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