Forty-seven lives were changed on Friday, June 14. Forty-seven people ended the chapter of their lives titled “student.” Forty-seven graduates officially began not just a new chapter in their lives but an entirely new book. Their stories of success and determination, their own individual triumphs that got them to this point, began the moment they were officially “done.” Forty-seven new stories are about to begin. We are thrilled to be part of each of those 47 stories and to see how they each unfold.
The 47 Minnesota School of Business-Richfield graduates, joined by their online counterparts, proudly took their place on the stage at the Richfield Middle School Auditorium.
Jill Halpern, who graduated with her Associate in Applied Science degree in Paralegal Studies with honors, was chosen to be this year’s student speaker. She told her own story of juggling classes with being a parent.
“Who really knows at age 5, 10, or even 18 what they want to do with the rest of their life?” Jill said. “I know that I wasn’t one of those privileged individuals, but I do know that getting to where I am today is something that was well worth the experience, the wait, and the effort.”
Rich Manik, an online instructor, was selected to be the faculty speaker. He combined humor and wisdom into a memorable speech. He asked students to keep in touch after graduation.
“We will be here if you need support, information, or if you want to chat,” he said. “Or if you need 10 bucks or miss writing APA-formatted papers.”
The keynote speaker was Liz Ogren from the Pedal and Roll for Parkinson’s, a nonprofit organization that sponsors events to help people with Parkinson’s disease by encouraging them to engage in biking and other forms of exercise. Liz is a 5th grade teacher and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2007. Liz is a familiar face on campus, as she has worked with students and instructors at MSB-Richfield for various applied learning projects. Most recently, the Managerial Accounting class put together a financial proposal for Pedal and Roll for Parkinson’s.
She presented each graduate with a bag containing a sunflower seed, a bead, a safety pin, a band aid, and a penny. They were items used to represent important elements in one’s life—things they should always carry with them such as individuality, friendships, and integrity.
We are proud and amazed at each and every one of our graduate’s story. Here’s to continuing to make it a story worth reading!