Commencement speaker: Optimism is key


Graduating senior Matthew Friedmann has a message of hope for his classmates – be optimistic as you move forward.

Friedmann was selected as class representative for spring commencement, which was postponed due to the global pandemic. He is now scheduled to speak during the commencement ceremony on Friday, Dec. 18, at 6 p.m. in the Sanford Health Athletic Complex for the Colleges of Business; Science and Mathematics; Agriculture, Food Sciences and Natural Resources; and Health Professions. 

He wants his classmates to look to the future with enthusiasm.

“Although we are wading into new waters, we go out into this changing world with the confidence of our education from NDSU,” said Friedmann, a management major from Mendota Heights, Minnesota. “Earning our degrees was no easy task; it’s those experiences that have prepared us to lead this new world into an uncertain future. The expectations of yesterday are no longer, and we have a unique opportunity to build a better and brighter world.”

Following graduation, Friedmann will continue his education as an NDSU graduate student studying educational leadership.

“It brings me great pride to represent a class of wonderful individuals at such an incredible university,” he said. “As a third-generation Bison, I have always felt a strong connection to this university, and I know that being a Bison is a lifelong commitment. Receiving a degree from NDSU is the pinnacle of my life thus far, and I know I will carry these experiences with me for the rest of my life.”

Friedmann has been highly active in NDSU Student Government, and recently was elected to serve as student body president for the 2020-2021 academic year. He previously was Student Government’s executive administrator and a senator from the College of Business.

He received the Dean’s Excellence Award and is a Mancur Olson Scholar. His other student activities include the Pride Alliance and Sevrinson Hall Government. He also was Homecoming King and the NDSU women’s club hockey manager.

“Coming to NDSU and being a student here has been a wonderful experience and a decision I have never regretted, Friedmann said. “Over the last four years, I have been surrounded by people who truly cared about me and my future. I received an amazing education that has given me the tools necessary for success.”

Friedmann is the son of Frank and Mona Friemann, both NDSU graduates.

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