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Nelson and Crane to speak at Minot State University Centennial commencement

May 16, the Minot State University Centennial commencement ceremony marks the culmination of Minot State’s first 100 years and the start of its next century. Lindsey Nelson, a senior from Bainville, Mont., and Arthur G. Crane, MSU’s first president portrayed by College of Arts and Sciences Dean Conrad Davidson, will be the commencement speakers.

MSU graduate students will participate in a hooding ceremony at 8 a.m. in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall. The commencement ceremony for graduate and undergraduate students will begin in the Dome at 10 a.m.

Lindsey Nelson, a third-generation MSU graduate, is graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in communication disorders. Nelson was listed on the President’s Honor Roll every semester of attendance, included in the 2014 edition of “Who’s Who in American Colleges & Universities” and received the MSU Distinctive and Engaged Scholars Award, along with numerous other scholarships.

Involved in several campus clubs and organizations, Nelson was a member of the Student Government Association for two years, first serving during the 2011-12 academic year as a senator and the Homecoming co-director. While the 2012-13 SGA president, Nelson, with other SGA members, actively represented and advocated for MSU students throughout proposed higher education policy changes.

Nelson plans to return to MSU next fall to pursue her master’s degree in speech-language pathology.

The evening before the Aug. 27, 1912, groundbreaking for the State Normal School at Minot’s initial building, known later as Old Main, Crane performed his first unofficial act. Disagreeing on the building’s location with State Normal Board member Martin Jacobson, the 35-year-old, newly chosen president moved survey stakes 50 yards back. Crane wanted it back from present-day University Avenue to accommodate future growth and took the necessary steps to ensure that.

Crane possessed diverse talents. Although he had a poetic streak, he was a practical, resourceful man. An intellectual, an author, a gifted organizer, he had above all the ability to inspire others.

Crane skillfully guided the school through social, cultural, economic and legal difficulties in its first days. When construction problems delayed the campus’ opening, he appealed to the community, which provided the rent-free use of the newly constructed Minot Armory. The first term of the State Normal School at Minot began Sept. 30, 1913, in the armory. Crane and the original faculty established the identity and traditions of the fledgling school. Students, faculty and staff often referred to him as “Father Crane.”

In 1917, Crane received a 14-month leave of absence to pursue graduate education at Columbia University in New York. He returned to North Dakota in September 1918. However, before he could resume his presidential duties, the Surgeon General of the U. S. Army called him into service for World War I. He worked for the Army Sanitary Corps at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D. C., organizing rehabilitation work and vocational training for disabled soldiers. He returned to Minot’s State Normal School for two months in 1921, before resigning to accept the presidency of the University of Wyoming.

Distinguished guest Rod Romine will receive an honorary Baccalaureate of Arts in broadcasting degree, based on his exceptional service to his profession, his community and MSU.

In 1954, the Silva native started his 40-year broadcasting career at KCJB Radio and KXMC-TV, and he retired as manager of Reiten Television. Since his retirement, Romine has dedicated much of his time to community organizations, and in particular, those at Minot State.

Megan Shoal will also be awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in clinical laboratory science. Shoal died in a car accident in May 2013. Her parents, Mark and Heather Shoal, Plentywood, Mont., will accept the diploma on her behalf. Her degree includes graduating with summa cum laude honors.

Terry Hjelmstad, retired educator, is representing the State Board of Higher Education. Appointed to the board in 2011, the SBHE vice chair's term expires June 30, 2015. For questions, contact Rebecca Porter, registrar, at


Published: 05/07/14

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