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River Falls Grads Proud of Accomplishments

Endurance. Accomplishment. Fun. Success. These were just a few of the words heard at the Chippewa Valley Technical College commencement ceremony held at the Meyer Middle School on Monday evening.

Greg Erickson, an Osceola native, wanted something more in life. He knew an education was going to give him that. “Today is our victory. We’ve overcome challenges, but we have endured and completed our ‘marathon,’” commented Erickson, the student speaker and honors nursing graduate. “Our future now calls for a new kind of endurance. But we have proven to ourselves that we can do anything.”
Greg worked construction and was actually a missionary for a number of years in Suriname, Paraguay, and Zimbabwe. “But once I got back home again, I had to do something more with my life. Getting my degree in a two year program was a great advantage because I wanted to get out into the working world.” Greg, a father of four, also realized that he was setting a great example for his kids. “It showed them that it takes hard work. But it also showed that they can do the same thing.”

Greg is now on the job hunt. “Ideally, I’d love to find a job, perhaps helping cancer patients. I just finished my clinicals working with chemotherapy patients and I just loved it. We’ll see what the future holds for me!”

Gregg Nelson, CVTC English and Communication instructor, addressed the students and encouraged them to celebrate their accomplishments. “This is a moment you’ll remember forever. It’s not often that your family comes to celebrate your accomplishments. Enjoy this moment.”

“You have to have fun!” proclaimed Dan Goodier, Executive Director of Christian Community Homes and Services and commencement speaker. Through a number of entertaining stories getting the students to laugh, Dan showed just how important it is to have fun at work. “Things can get stressful and I’ve seen some very successful people burn out. You have to find a way to enjoy what you do.”

By the end of the evening, graduates may have ended their journey at CVTC, but as President Bruce Barker said, “It’s time to write the next chapter in your life. Believe in yourself and you’ll go far.”

Pictured in the photo are, left to right, Dan Goodier, commencement speaker; Gregg Nelson, English and Communication instructor; Bruce Barker, CVTC President; and Greg Erickson, student speaker.