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Commencement speaker: Every collegiate journey is special

Graduating NDSU senior Andrew Christianson considers each student’s collegiate career as a personal, one-of-a-kind experience.

Christianson, who will receive his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering, has been selected as the student representative for NDSU commencement scheduled for Saturday, May 14, at 10 a.m. in the Fargodome.

The 10 a.m. ceremony will feature the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; College of Engineering; College of Human Sciences and Education; and Interdisciplinary Studies.

Christianson will tell his classmates that each one of them has taken a different path, and the challenges of the pandemic taught them to adapt and overcome adversity.

“The theme of my speech is centered around our innate nature to compare ourselves to others, but our journey that has led us to graduation is special in its own way,” he said. “What has gotten us to this point, and what will guide us in the future, are the relationships, experiences, achievements and trials that are uniquely ours.”

Christianson was active in the Engineering Ambassadors, American Society of Mechanical Engineers and intramural sports and served as an engineering tour guide.

“These were important to me because they allowed me to connect and meet other students while pursing activities that I love,” said Christianson, who grew up in Fargo and attended Oak Grove High School. “I could pursue relationships while applying the knowledge learned in class towards practical applications.”

Throughout his time at NDSU, he has been an outstanding student, earning the Dr. Edwin Wetterstrom Scholarship, Opus Scholarship, Dr. Sherman P. Goplen Mechanical Engineering Scholarship, Fargo-Moorhead Engineering Club Scholarship, Dollars for Scholars Scholarship, Provost Award and North Dakota Scholarship.

“The relationships that I developed with many faculty and staff were priceless. Their knowledge and experience have been pivotal for not only my career, but life in general,” he said. “But the moments that shaped my college career were the times that I talked to the person sitting next to me in the dining center, or the time I said ‘Hi’ to my neighbor in class, or the time I tagged along with a friend to their friends’ house. You never know when and where you are going to meet a new friend or person that shapes your life.”

Christianson already has a leg up on his career. Since the end of his freshman year, he worked for CNH Industrial part-time during the academic year and full-time over the summers as a product development design engineer assisting with 78 projects on the “4WD Steiger Series.” After graduation, he plans to continue with CNH Industrial while pursuing additional knowledge about aerospace engineering in his spare time.

Christianson was asked to contemplate his educational experience at NDSU, and whether he’d recommend the university to others. He did not hesitate.

“Absolutely! The combination of community, opportunity, flexibility and affordability make NDSU an outstanding choice for any potential student,” he said.

He is the son of Mark Christianson, Oakes, North Dakota, and Belinda Christianson, Mott, North Dakota.

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North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-1068 - Fax: (701) 231-1989
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Last Updated: Monday, May 23, 2022 11:51:34 AM
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