May 3, 2018

North Dakota University System Chancellor Dr. Mark Hagerott will deliver the annual commencement address at Mayville State University Saturday, May 12. The commencement ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. at the Mayville State University Lewy Lee Fieldhouse. The event is open to the public.

Current graduates Nicole Schleske, Fergus Falls, Minn., and Donte Stevens, Opa-Locka, Fla., will speak on behalf of the graduating class.

Mayville State’s graduation day festivities will begin with the traditional graduation brunch, hosted by the MSU Alumni Association. A sit-down meal and program will begin at 11 a.m. in the Campus Center Luckasen Room. Graduates Emmalee Hall from Pembina, N.D. and Douglas Koepplin from Elgin, N.D. will speak on behalf of the MSU Class of 2018. The members of the graduating class will be the guests of honor at the event. The brunch is also open to MSU faculty and staff and friends and family of the graduates. 

Following the commencement ceremony, Mayville State faculty, staff, and administration will host a reception to honor of the graduates. The reception will be held in the Luckasen Room of the MSU Campus Center. The reception is open to the graduates and their guests.

Mayville State University Graduation Brunch Student Speaker Biographies:

Emmalee Hall is a Dean’s List student and scholarship recipient. She has been an active participant in the Mayville State concert band and choir, and was named an outstanding theatre participant in 2016-17. She has also been a part of the worship music group for Mayville State’s Cru and a member of the Cheer Club. In the community, Emmalee has served as a Sunday School teacher, Bible camp counselor, and volunteer with the Humane Society. She is currently an American Legion member. Emmalee has earned a Bachelor of Science in Education degree, pursuing a major in Elementary Education. She is the daughter of Philip and Louise Hall of Pembina, N.D.

Douglas Koepplin came to Mayville State as a member of the varsity football team. He has been a part of the team during his entire Mayville State tenure, serving as team captain from the fall of 2015 through the fall of 2017. He was named Scout Team Player of the Year in 2013 and all-conference in 2015. A Dean’s List student, he was a Student of the Year nominee in 2016 and 2017 and was a Mayville State Peer Leader for three years. He volunteered with activities of the football team, as well as with the annual Comet Athletic Club 3-on-3 basketball tournament for four years. Douglas completed the requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in business administration after the fall semester of 2017. He will complete a Bachelor of Science in Education degree with a major in physical education at the conclusion of the fall semester of 2018. His parents are Doug and Nancy Koepplin of Elgin, N.D.

Mayville State University Commencement Speaker Biographies:

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Mark R. Hagerott is Chancellor for the North Dakota University System.

Prior to his move back home to North Dakota, Dr. Hagerott served on the faculty and held numerous academic leadership roles at the United States Naval Academy. He also served as a planning and strategy director in one of the largest U.S. Army educational organizations, NATO Training Mission, which included the Afghanistan army, police, air force, and medical school programs. Hagerott served as distinguished professor and deputy director of the Center for Cyber Security Studies at the Naval Academy and served on the Defense Science Board summer study of unmanned systems 2014-2015. He is a commissioner on The American Council on Education, Midwestern Higher Education Compact, and Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. 

Chancellor Hagerott's research and writing are focused on the evolution of technology, education, and changes in technical career paths, and he is the author of multiple articles and book chapters, with a recent emphasis on unmanned systems. He served as a non-resident cyber Fellow of the New America Foundation, 2015-2017.

Prior to his transition to an academic career path, Hagerott held numerous leadership positions in the U.S. Navy, both aboard ships and in administrative positions in the Department of Defense. A certified naval nuclear engineer in power generation and distribution, he served as chief engineer for a major environmental project defueling of two atomic reactors. Hagerott also ran tactical data networks for the Navy and rose to ship command prior to his career in higher education. He also served in both Bush administrations, as a White House Fellow in the first Bush administration; and in the office of the Deputy Secretary of Defense in the second Bush administration.

Hagerott holds a B.S. from the U.S. Naval Academy, an M.A. in political science and economics from Oxford University where he attended as a Rhodes Scholar, and a Ph.D. in history from University of Maryland. 

The chancellor hails from a multi-generation North Dakota family of farmers and energy producers. The Hagerott-Brandenburg family homesteaded in Center and Mandan before statehood, where his father continues work on the fourth-generation farm, and his mother's family came with the first Bakken oil boom.

Student Speakers

Nicole Schleske earned an associate’s degree in child care and education in 2010. After spending some time in the field of child care, she decided to finish a bachelor’s degree at Mayville State. While working full-time, she was able to complete a bachelor’s degree online. She spent one summer session on the Mayville State campus, where she had the opportunity to get to know the staff and students and gain an appreciation for Mayville State feeling like her “home.” She says the relationships she made in that short time will last a lifetime. Nicole was named the 2017-18 Outstanding Student in Education and earned an outstanding grade point average every semester. Schleske was a recipient of the Nelson Family Endowed Scholarship. In her community, she has served as superintendent of her local Sunday School for six years, and she has also directed a competitive gymnastics program. She completed the requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Education degree in Early Childhood Education at the end of the Fall Semester of 2017. Nicole’s parents are Barry and Dawn Schleske of Fergus Falls, Minn.

Donte Stevens came to Mayville State as a football recruit and he has played on the varsity team throughout his time as an MSU student. In addition, he is a four-year member of the Multicultural Club and the MSU concert band. He has served as president of the Student Senate during the past year and has been a member of student government four three years. He is a member and international contest award-winner in Collegiate DECA and he participated in the Larson Leadership Program, as well as the Mayville State student volunteer group, Cometeers, for two years. Stevens was among a group of Mayville State students who participated in a grant-funded research trip to Japan in the summer of 2017. In his project, he studied the differences and similarities between marketing in the United States and Japan. Donte has been named a Mayville State University Student of the Year and Dean’s List recipient. He has earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a Business Administration major. His parents are Sheneeka Stevens and Chad Graham.

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