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Page 24

Lake Region State College:

Celebrating 75 years

College and community work

together to save graduation


reparations had begun as

usual. Speakers and musi-

cians were identified, award

winners selected, and arrange-

ments made for food. We were

confident another group of gradu-

ates would enjoy a well-organized

and memorable ceremony.

However, there was one hint

of trouble—the caps and gowns

did not arrive as expected.

In mid-April, the regalia had

been ordered. When no gowns

had arrived by Monday, a call was

made. We were assured the ship-

ment would be here the next day,

but nothing came. We called again

and were reassured the order

would arrive. On Wednesday, a

shipment did arrive, but it con-

tained ony six gowns—We needed

eighty! Finally, on Thursday

morning, we were informed that

due to a computer malfunction,

our order would not be filled.

What to do?

One option was to

declare this a “gown-less” gradu-

ation, but our students would be

disappointed, and so would we.

On Internet we found Todd,

a Josten’s representative. Todd

offered to try to find gowns. An

hour later, he called to say that

a warehouse in South Carolina

had what we needed. With help

from FedEx, he could get them to

Grand Forks by six-thirty Friday

morning. Did we want to try that?

Of course!

Todd placed the order and

put us in touch with the ship-

ping station. It was suggested we

contact FedEx to make certain we

could access the shipment quickly

once their plane landed. There

is no FedEx office in our rural

community, but one advantage

of a small-town community is

that we all know each other. The

college registrar remembered that

the sister of a former financial aid

director works for FedEx. Soon we

had the sister on the phone, and

we received instructions for label-

ing the shipment. Our information

systems technician offered to meet

the plane in Grand Forks early

Friday morning.

Meanwhile, we worried that

students wouldn’t have time to

iron wrinkled gowns. Area busi-

nesses generously loaned their

steamers to the cause, and we de-

clared ourselves “ready for gradu-

ation 2004.” We even had a plan

for the wrinkles!

Complications arise:

At six-thirty

Friday morning, South Carolina

called. They were sorry to report

that rough weather in Memphis

had delayed the FedEx plane. It

wasn’t expected in Grand Forks

until nine a.m. How frustrating!

Word of the new crisis spread.

The president of the Commu-

nity College Foundation, Rodger

Haugen, happened to be a pilot,

and we contacted him to see if he

could help. He quickly agreed and

was airborne by eight a.m. Run-

way clearances had been made,

and he pulled up nose-to-nose

with the FedEx jet. The caps and

gowns were quickly stuffed into

his little plane, and Rodger head-

ed back to Devils Lake.

Campus personnel were at the

airport waiting. By nine-thirty,

the caps and gowns were in the

Bookstore being distributed, and

graduates scurried to the gymna-

sium to “get steamed.” The pianist

patiently repeated a few numbers

until the processional could begin,

just ten minutes behind schedule!

Despite an incredible series

of complications, the college held

a lovely ceremony. Remarkable

cooperation by so many made it

all possible. LRSC is proud and

grateful for the support of the

wonderful community it serves. ●

—Branches, spring 2004 —

Introducing Shorelines

Annual magazine of the arts


n 1993, UND-Lake Region intro-

duced a new attraction—



magazine—which featured

the best prose, poetry, and art-

work produced by students dur-

ing the school term.


was born of a dream

shared by English instructors

Judy Ryan and Theresa Leiphon

to highlight the fine writing of

students. Previously, excellent

student essays had been displayed

in the library, but a larger forum

was needed.

A copy of

The Censer

, the liter-

ary magazine of the College of

St. Teresa, in Winona, Minnesota,

served as inspiration for develop-

ment of a literary magazine for the


“I shared my dream that someday

we could produce a literary magazine

of that caliber,”

Theresa said.

Art instructor Deborah Carl-

son was very enthusiastic and

suggested we expand the concept

to include student art.

In January of 1993, the dream

became reality. An invitation

went out for students to submit

their writing and artwork. Faculty

members and several excellent

students to were asked to jury the

submissions. The essays, poetry,

and artwork selected became the

content of


. In later is-

sues, student photography was

also included

The opportunity to be pub-

lished in


is a unique and

treasured collegiate accomplish-

ment. Students appreciate the

recognition and are inspired to

continue to develop their skills.


magazine has

been published for twenty-three

consecutive years and has been

recognized several times by the

North Dakota Professional Com-


College Communications


. All issues are available for

review during the 75



sary Celebration. ●