Thursday, April 23, 2015

UMC Commencement on Saturday, May 9, 2015

CROOKSTON, Minn. – Entrepreneur David G. Ekman will address the University of Minnesota Crookston Class of 2015 during commencement exercises on Saturday, May 9, 2015. Graduates will take part in the ceremony, which begins at 2 p.m. in Lysaker Gymnasium. All are welcome to attend.

Ekman, a 1981 graduate of the U of M Crookston, grew up in Argyle, Minn., and has more than 30 years of business experience. During his time at the U of M Crookston, he played college basketball, served as student senate president, and earned his associates degree in agricultural business management. While attending North Dakota State University and majoring in agricultural economics, Ekman started in the computer business by purchasing a ComputerLand franchise at the age of 20. This began a series of business ventures including a technology company, an internet service provider, a travel agency, hotel development and investment, a self-storage business, and various real estate projects.

He recently retired as the CIO of Multiband Corporation, a NASDAQ-listed field services company with more than 3,000 employees which he helped start.  He serves on various boards and committees, including the Campus Advisory and Advancement Board for the Crookston campus, and stays active in his many business dealings. Ekman and his wife, Paula, reside in Fargo, N.D., with their three teenage children.

A reception in the Northern Lights Lounge, Sargeant Student Center, precedes the commencement ceremony from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The public is welcome to attend both events; no tickets are required. Additionally, a special reception for online graduates will be held at 10 a.m. in the Prairie Room, Sargent Student Center, and a reception for international student graduates will be held following commencement exercises at 4 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.

On Saturday at 2 p.m., the formal procession of faculty, candidates for degrees, and platform guests will begin from the Sargeant Student Center to the gymnasium led by Mace Bearer William Peterson, professor in the Math, Science, and Technology Department. The procession also includes Faculty Marshal W. Daniel Svedarsky, professor and director of the Center for Sustainability on the Crookston campus.

Bringing greetings from the University of Minnesota Board of Regents is the Honorable Peggy Lucas, from Minneapolis, Minn., who will also assist with the conferring of the degrees. 
University of Minnesota, Crookston Alumni Association (UMCAA) Board President Lauralee (Nicholas) Tupa '05 will bring greetings from the UMCAA and welcome the new graduates to the alumni association. The U of M Crookston Community Band under the direction of TJ Chapman, lecturer in the Math, Science, and Technology Department, will perform along with selections during the ceremony by the campus choir under the direction of Associate Professor George French.

Graduating senior Justin Goodroad, a horticulture major from Lindstrom, Minn., Crookston Student Association (CSA) president, will speak on behalf of the Class of 2015 and pass the torch of education, a Crookston campus tradition, to the incoming CSA president Tareyn Stomberg, a junior double majoring in animal science and agricultural business from Menahga, Minn.

The 2015 commencement exercises mark the 107th graduating class to be recognized on the Crookston campus. A live audio stream of the commencement exercises will be available at

For more information, visit the commencement website at