Congresswoman’s Education Story Inspires Graduates
By David Leasure, Ph.D.
On Saturday, June 23rd, Congresswoman Kristi Noem (SD) honored and inspired graduates of CTU’s Sioux Falls campus with her commencement speech centering on the importance of persistence through adversity. She shared her own story of education, which was interrupted due to the personal tragedy of losing her father in a farming accident and the necessity of her taking over the family business. She described how tax laws forced her to make some tough decisions to preserve the family business and how those challenges inspired her to run for office.
After a successful election, and despite the busy schedule of a Congresswoman, Noem found time to earn her own degree. This story resonated deeply with the graduates, many of whom are non-traditional students, raising their own families and working while going to school. Congresswoman Noem credited Colorado Technical University, and schools like CTU, with making the dream possible for those willing to work hard. She also emphasized how important it is for government officials to continue to focus on economic and educational opportunities.
With stories and quotations from Ronald Reagan to John Wayne, and even her father, Congresswoman Noem brought us laughter, tears, and truly touched the hearts of all who were present. Alumni were deeply touched that Representative Noem then attended the post-graduation reception and remained for personal conversations and photographs with families.
See more photos from Noem’s speech and the Sioux Falls commencement ceremony on Facebook.
David Leasure, Ph.D. is the Chancellor and serves on the Board of Trustees of Colorado Technical University. Among his many contributions at the university, Dr. Leasure is thought leader on adaptive learning, CTU’s Professional Learning Model, and institutional effectiveness.
Photo credit: Jolesch Photography
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