2019 UND Grads
By Rita Maisel
Early June is always filled with memories: lots of weddings including one that happened to fall on June 4 which just happened to be the day a family had a new baby who would later be a cousin by marriage. At some of the gatherings we might ask each other if we were celebrating the wedding anniversary or the birthday. Normally the cakes were a good clue. Also it is a reminder that local gardeners have spent years declaring June 10th as the prettiest day of the year – feel free to check that out this year. Much of the world remembers June 6 as D-Day with special ceremonies this year to mark the 75th anniversary. In 1944 everyone with a newspaper or radio knew a major push in the war would take place when the American troops crossed the English Channel to Normandy. Langdon families all seemed to know someone involved in this dangerous expedition accompanied by its high toll of human lives – some people we knew. What we may not have known beforehand was the exact time or day. As a child I remember it was a weekday with many normal activities suspended with the announcement that it was a day of national emergency. We stayed indoors close to the radio reports working a jigsaw puzzle about George Washington at Valley Forge between trips to church to pray. All Langdon churches were open for the entire day, and relatives who went in the morning took us along. When my mother got off work, she took us with her to an evening service. Today Cavalier County still has veterans who were there in person although their numbers have grown smaller through the years.
However, the topic this week is a different type of history which might better be called history in the making. Phyllis Howatt brought me a copy of the UND graduation booklet this year with new milestones ahead for the familiar names listed as receiving degrees. Last year she had shared her NDSU graduation booklet so the story was put off in case a similar program might surface from NDSU. So far the NDSU graduation list has not been found.
UND’s commencement was held May 11, 2019, with graduate degrees (doctorate and master’s) in the morning and undergraduate degrees in the afternoon. With hundreds of recipients for each group the format was similar, but the main speakers and musicians were different. Both Phyllis and I read the listing several times looking for familiar local names so will begin with an apology for people we might have missed.
There was a very familiar sound to the name Francis Arthur Schill who received his doctorate in educational leadership. No hometown was listed so am not sure if he grew up here or worked in this general area in recent years.
Receiving doctorates in physical therapy were three candidates from our area. In alphabetical order they were: Jayla Kay Green, daughter of Tim Greene, and granddaughter of Shirley and Orlyn Greene, long-time Langdon residents; Trevor L. Roppel of Alsen; and Mercedes J.H. Stein of Langdon. Mercedes is the daughter of Cregg and Lori Stein and grand-daughter of Phyllis Howatt and Doris Stein, all of Langdon.
Bobbie Jo Bertsch received her master’s in occupational therapy. Her hometown was not given, but members of her family have received local scholarships from Starkweather High School. A masters in physician assistant studies was earned by Tiffany Lynn Fletschock with ties to the Munich community.
Hannah Ruth Hillis received a master of science in nursing – a great reminder of family ties to Ruth Hillis who served as nurse and nursing home administrator in several hospitals and nursing homes in Pembina and Cavalier County during her lifetime. Hannah may be a namesake of the earlier Ruth Hillis starting out in a similar career. Also receiving master’s of science degrees were Chelsey Joy Lorenz in nursing and Emily Joy Lorenz in special education, and Brianna Lee Pankratz whose Master of Science is in nursing. All could have extended family in Cavalier County.
In that same group were Paul Ronald Rodenbiker with Rock Lake family ties whose degree is in nursing and Alexa Katherine Roy of Langdon whose master’s is in special education. Alexa is the daughter of Kevin and Lori Roy and grand-daughter of Bill and Kathy Roy and Lorne and Judy Tetrault, all from Langdon.
The afternoon session issued bachelor’s degrees to another large list of candidates, some of whom did list their hometowns. Bachelor of Science in nursing went to Madison Jae Hetletved, daughter of Tiffany and Kyle Hetletved; Madison R. Keplin of Belcourt (readers may remember her from sports); and Kylie Nicole Kram of Langdon, daughter of Jeff and Jackie Kram and granddaughter of Marilyn Borho and Shirley Delvo, all of Langdon.
Bachelor of Science in social work degrees were presented to Bethany Ann Ivesdal, Kiri Maxine Kaste of Park River and Mariah L. Sharp of Pembina County. Some names sound so familiar they might have local roots: Bodensteiner sounds like Walhalla, Rutten like Devils Lake, Hoffman and Hoffmann like Munich, but the first names were not familiar enough to identify them. Apologies to some which should have been obvious and were missed.
Bachelor of Arts in elementary education degrees were received by Abbie Bertsch of Starkweather and Samantha Jean Hegg of Larimore. Samantha will be teaching at St. Alphonsus this fall.
Bachelor of Accountancy degrees were issued to Cole Douglas Hiltner and Brody Robert Welsh whose parents or grandparents may have grown up in the Langdon area. Lucas K. Mikkelsen, son of Kent and Carol Mikkelsen, received his bachelor of business administration with a major in management. He has many relatives in Langdon including his grandmother, Betty Mikkelsen.
Alexis Lyn Klabo, who many have watched on the basketball court, got her bachelor of arts in psychology. Joseph Henry Sand received his bachelor of arts in general studies, and after years of reading graduation lists that did include children/grandchildren of Harvey and Eleanor Sand and also Shirley and Phyllis Sand (both deceased recently), it is possible Joseph might be named for the Henry Sand who was a long-time Langdon blacksmith.
Alison A. Brinegar, graduate of LAHS, received her bachelor of fine arts in graphic design, graduating cum laude. We hope she is still singing!
Family and local friends might say we saved the best for last as the final recognizable local name in the program was that of Alison Esther Borchardt from Milton. Alison’s degree is a bachelor of music, magna cum laude, with her major in music education. She is the daughter of Harley and Valerie Borchardt of Milton.
Congratulations to all and special thanks to Phyllis for, again, providing a list of the graduates.