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BSC will present nearly 1,000 degrees to graduates

Posted on 5/9/2012

Bismarck State College will award diplomas to 982 graduates during its 72nd commencement ceremony on May 11 at the Bismarck Civic Center. The ceremony will stream live to both computers and, for the first time, mobile devices from

Degrees will be awarded to students from 42 states and Canada. The college will grant 25 Bachelor of Applied Science degrees, 825 associate degrees, and 132 certificates of completion.

BSC Provost Drake Carter will preside over the ceremony. The guest speaker will be BSC Foundation Alumna of the Year Tamra Halmrast-Sanchez, director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office for American Schools and Hospitals Abroad and a 1979 graduate of BSC.

Halmrast-Sanchez served three years in Iraq for USAID and has served in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. She started her career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala (1984-1986). She is a native of Bismarck.

In appreciation of her service to BSC and the community, former BSC President Donna Thigpen will receive the BSC Distinguished Service Citation during the commencement ceremony

During her 11 years as BSC president, Thigpen was instrumental in the development of industry-driven programming, particularly in the energy industry. Her leadership in this area resulted in establishment of the National Energy Center of Excellence. In addition, she led the development of the Dakota Nursing Program, creating a collaboration that allowed smaller institutions to combine their resources to offer much needed, statewide nursing education and training.

Graduate Sheldon Weisbeck of Herreid, S.D., will be the student speaker. Weisbeck is graduating with an Associate in Applied Science in Agriculture, Technology and Natural Resources. He is a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society and was team captain of the Mystic's men's basketball team this year.

Graduates include those who completed their course of instruction during the past two semesters, as well as those who expect to complete requirements during the summer.

In addition to the livestream, the commencement ceremony will be recorded and available to view from May 16-June 15 at The ceremony also will air on Dakota Media Access, Channel 12 (see for schedule) and be available for download on BSC's iTunes U site.

About Bismarck State College
Bismarck State College, an innovative community college in Bismarck, N.D., offers high quality education, workforce training, and enrichment programs reaching local and global communities. For more information visit

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