CHADRON – The second consecutive virtual Chadron State College Commencement ceremony took place Dec. 18. College officials decided the virtual format was safer than an in-person event due to the pandemic. The pre-recorded ceremony is available on CSC’s YouTube channel.
John Murphy of Harrison, Nebraska, provided the opening moment of reflection and Jaime Gonzalez of Bridgeport, Nebraska, gave the closing moment of reflection. One hundred ninety-five candidates for graduation were honored.
The speaker was Dr. Joanne Owens-Nauslar of Lincoln, Nebraska, a well-known motivational and health and fitness speaker, who graduated from Chadron State College in 1970. She is the owner and operator of Fitness Is Living, a public speaking, mentoring, and training company. She has written two books and numerous articles for journals and health and physical education curriculum guides.
In her address, Owens-Nauslar reflected back on the unusual events of 2020.“We’ve learned that choices matter. Your choice to come back to campus and finish what you started matters. Being educated and socially responsible matters. Being patient and trusting the processes matter,” Owens-Nauslar said.
She advised the graduates to appreciate their family members and loved ones.
“They have helped you endure and make comebacks. They are your rock of support now and in the future. Treasure those who coached and mentored you. This year in particular, we saw far too many families who never got to say ‘goodbye.’ The faculty, staff, alumni, and leadership at Chadron State have a vested interest in your success, they too are your family,” Owens-Nauslar said.
The choices one makes in life matter, whether related to health, education, work ethic or perseverance, Owens-Nauslar said.
“I hope the degrees and professions you choose have value and respect. Who you work for and what they represent matters. Research the heart and soul of organizations to be sure their contributions to society align with your personal values,” she said. “It all goes back to what matters. Choices matter. You and the degree you have just earned really matter,” she said.
She emphasized that CSC and the opportunities it provides continue to matter.
“I am emotionally moved and energized each time I return to campus. I feel the progress and the energy you have brought to the college. Fly away, but remember to return to the nest. Come back to Chadron State and remember to give back. You will be welcomed and celebrated,” she said.
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