Commencement speaker to urge teamwork, cooperation

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NDSU graduating senior Jon Lipp believes teamwork and service are paramount to success.

Lipp will focus on that topic when he addresses his fellow graduates during NDSU spring commencement Saturday, May 14, in the Fargodome. As class representative, Lipp will speak during the 2 p.m. ceremony.

Lipp, who grew up in Fargo, will receive his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. He is a University Honors Program student, maintaining a 4.0 grade-point average.

His message will emphasize how hard work may not necessarily mean an immediate payoff, but it will bring results down the road.

"I'll ask people, with the skills they've gained at NDSU, to work with other people, and to acknowledge that only through cooperation and collaboration can we achieve worthy things," Lipp said. "I think that encapsulates what I've learned at NDSU, and it's a lesson people need to take with them as they go out into whatever community they'll call home."

Lipp has lived by those words during his collegiate career – involvement has been key to his NDSU experience

He was a member of the Memorial Union Advisory Board, Greek Life Advisory Board, Parking Appeals Board and served on two search committees. In addition, he held positions with the Volunteer Network and The Spectrum student newspaper. In Student Government, he served as Executive Commissioner of the Congress of Student Organizations. Lipp also was president of Blue Key Honor Society, member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity and the emcee for NDSU's Dance Marathon and the Bison Brevities talent show.

"Among Honors students, Jon Lipp is exceptional," said Matthew Salafia, assistant professor of practice and University Honors Program coordinator. "He has exhibited commitment as a student, eloquence as a speaker, engagement as a citizen and leadership as a person."

Lipp wants to have a career working with non-profit organizations, because service is central to his personal calling. He joined NDSU Student Government shortly after coming to campus, and its motto, "Leaving the university better than when we arrived," resonated with him.

"I saw the potential to do some good on campus," he said, describing why he became actively involved with a variety of groups. "NDSU prepared me well and really taught me the importance of community."

His proudest contribution has been membership in Blue Key Honor Society, an organization that emphasizes integrity, achievement and service to others. "Being selected as a leader in service is the highest honor I have ever received," Lipp said. "It has been such a humbling experience to learn and grow with such amazing students.

Lipp considered a number of universities across the country before he decided to attend NDSU. But his hometown school proved to be the perfect place for him.

"I laugh about that now because NDSU has been such a good experience and great fit for me," he said. "I was so warmly welcomed by so many people, and I got swept up in so many great things. It's such a vibrant world here – there's something for everybody at NDSU."


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