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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2002
Contact: Steve Buchholz, Public Information Manager, 394-6082
Aberdeen Stars At Tech Commencement
The city of Aberdeen was well represented on stage during the spring commencement ceremony at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. The ceremony was held May 11 at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
Jason Lamont of Aberdeen delivered the student address. Lamont received a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. During his speech, Lamont congratulated his classmates, looked back on the past and forward to the future.
“Remember back to your first day of college, and how many people were there,” he said. Then over the years, many of our friends transferred and dropped out. This is proof that not everyone can accomplish what we have today. It also left us to push on with a little less help. So this is a celebration for those of us who endured the years of hard work and made it. When faced with the great challenge that this school presents we stuck it out and succeeded. That alone is a reason to celebrate.
“We are no longer the dependent kids who had to look to our parents to get by,” he said. “We may still need their help once in a while, but today we step out into the world on our own. But we are not without help. We are going into the world as engineers and scientists with a step or two above the rest.”
Randy Parcel, a 1963 graduate of Aberdeen High School, received Tech’s March Medal during the ceremony. The award is given to a Tech graduate who supports the university through the years. Parcel is a partner in the Denver office of Perkins Coie, a Seattle-based law firm with more than 500 attorneys in 13 offices in the United States, Europe and the Far East. Parcel urged the graduates to work hard and succeed. He also told them to give back to their communities.
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“The bottom line for scientists and engineers today is that, after you graduate and enter the workforce, it's not enough anymore to just do your science or engineering thing,” he said. “Now, understandably, in the early years of your career, you will want to focus your energies on your job and, if you have a family, them. But I strongly urge you, even in the early years of your career, to broaden your focus to also allow some time for public or community service.
“You graduates are especially well qualified to do that,” he said. “You've been trained to analyze and solve problems. You've been trained to be objective. By virtue of having graduated from this institution, you have shown that you're not afraid of hard work. And you've shown that you're smart. So as you now go into the real world, seek out those extracurricular activities.”
Tech awarded nearly 250 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees during the ceremony. The following students from Aberdeen also received bachelor’s degrees.
Scott Beck, Industrial Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences
Jason Herr, Chemical Engineering
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South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. Office of University Relations
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