Work ethic drives student body president to reach academic, career goals
Published November 2016
Spencer Moir won’t quit. Something inside urges him to press forward despite a difficult and uncomfortable road ahead.
The NDSU student body president competed two years ago in a 24-hour run in Las Vegas that gave him blistering sunburn by day and hypothermia by night. Stopping never entered his mind.
He’s run a 50-mile ultramarathon, completed brutal obstacle course competitions and finished a 100-kilometer run. Challenges excite him.
Moir also has gone the distance at NDSU. He was quiet and reserved when he arrived on campus from Rochester, Minnesota, with his twin brother. He mostly kept to himself and shied away from the spotlight. But the drive to reach his full potential didn’t keep him on the sideline for long.
Moir is one example of NDSU students, faculty and staff, whose strong work ethic pushes them to excel in and out of the classroom.
“I didn’t really do that much my first semester,” said Moir, who was a strong student and member of the student council in high school. “But a lot of doors and a lot of opportunities opened up when I decided to get involved on campus. The experience also helped open me up to new things. It’s been an unbelievable journey.”
Moir followed his brother, Logan, to NDSU because of the quality of the engineering program and the affordability of the university. Spencer is an industrial engineering and management major, and Logan is a civil engineering major.
Getting involved in campus activities as a freshman helped Moir develop good communication skills. He was intimidated by public speaking as a freshman. But he never lacked the confidence to try something new.
So he pushed himself by becoming an NDSU tour guide. Showing people around campus, interacting and talking with different groups of people made him more comfortable speaking in larger groups.
Around the same time, he joined Sigma Chi fraternity. His friends at Sigma Chi encouraged him to start running. Moir was a track-and-field athlete in high school, but never a distance runner.
Despite his lack of experience, he participated in a half-marathon in Fargo. He was hooked on the sport before he finished the 13.1-mile race. He did his first full marathon the following year, and quickly advanced to 24-hour endurance races, lengthy obstacle course races and ultramarathons.
“If I hadn’t come to NDSU, joined Sigma Chi and become involved on campus I would probably never have known what I’m capable of doing,” he said.
Moir took the same focus he put into becoming a competitive distance runner into a run for student body president. He’s never been politically motivated, and he doesn’t dream of a life as a public servant. But he knew the best way to make positive changes on campus was as a member of student government. He was a student senator as a sophomore and junior, and was elected student body president last year.
Now, the same student who didn’t have the confidence to speak in public three years ago, speaks for NDSU’s student body of 14,500. And he makes sure their voices are heard at the local and state level. He speaks frequently in front of his peers, and addresses the State Board of Higher Education and the state legislature.
“Giving people a voice who wouldn’t necessarily have it or feel comfortable speaking up is an awesome privilege to have,” he said. “It’s really cool to be able to connect with other students and make a difference on campus.”
Moir’s success in the classroom and ability to adapt to new challenges helped him earn a prestigious internship last summer at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Washington. He was selected for one of just 40 engineering internships at the shipyard. He earned one of two open spots for his engineering specialty after a lengthy application and interview process that included hundreds of standout students from across the country.
Three other NDSU engineering students, Logan Moir, Kade Platta and Chris Mello, also had internships at the shipyard last summer.
Moir was part of a team that designed custom products to help mechanics and engineers better do their jobs at the shipyard. He committed to eight months as an engineer at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard when he graduates this spring.
And he’ll still be looking to take on big challenges. His ultimate goal is become an officer in the Navy and join the Navy SEAL program. The SEALs are the Navy’s primary special operations force known for its physically and mentally grueling training process. He also has interest in enrolling in medical school.
“I like solving problems,” Moir said. “I majored in engineering to get that engineering mindset of technical problem solving. And NDSU provided that for me. Industrial engineering is really applicable in all kinds of industries. Whatever I do, I want to help people.”