Graduation speakers announced


SHARING WISDOM—Scott Jordan (left), School of Health and Human associate professor, and Connor Loftus, fisheries and wildlife management major, will speak at commencement on Dec. 14 at the Superior Dome.

Akasha Khalsa

After deliberations among the graduating class, the Dean of Students and ASNMU, the speakers for Dec. 14 commencement have been announced.

School of Health and Human Performance Associate Professor Scott Jordan has been selected as the distinguished faculty speaker, and fisheries and wildlife management major Connor Loftus has been chosen as the student commencement speaker. These speakers will congratulate graduates during the ceremony and hope to provide some insight or life wisdom to the outgoing seniors.

“I am still kicking ideas around for the speech, but I’m leaning towards talking about lessons that I have learned about life through outdoor recreation,” Jordan said. “Such as, character development in the context of productive application of what you have learned in school and making the world a better place by applying compassion to all aspects of life.”

Jordan was nominated by students for the Students’ Choice Award as speaker. In an email sent out to all the graduating seniors this year, seniors were asked to select their favorite faculty member. Students had until Monday, Nov. 18, to nominate a professor if they wanted to “reward them for their hard work and positive influence,” according to the Dean of Students office.

Jordan is the fourth faculty member to be awarded the Students’ Choice Award to become a speaker at a commencement ceremony at NMU, Assistant Registrar Lenette Pynnonen said. In the past, other faculty who have received the honor have included Martin Reinhardt, who teaches Native American Studies, David Wood of the English Department and Gary Brunswick of the College of Business.

The student speaker was chosen by a selection committee formed of two graduating seniors, two NMU faculty members, the Dean of Students and the ASNMU president. This committee auditioned speakers from the graduating class. The student speaker was chosen for the quality of his speech, which was submitted beforehand during the auditions. In order to be selected, the talk had to be five minutes or less in length.

“My speech is about the changes that have been happening on campus and how the graduating class has played a central role in helping make those changes happen,” Loftus said. “Campus and the surrounding area looks totally different than it did 4 years ago. The roles that our class played in all these changes were central to shaping the new NMU that we see today.”

Commencement will be held at the conclusion of the semester at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday Dec. 14 in the Superior Dome. For those unable to attend, it can be viewed live on WNMU-TV Public TV 13 or streamed online.