CURTIS — The Aggie class of 2021 graduating on May 6 from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture will hear from University of Nebraska President Ted Carter who will deliver the keynote address in an outdoor commencement.
“We are very excited to welcome President Carter back to campus here in Curtis as, this year, we are having graduation in person, with our Aggie graduates, their families and friends,” NCTA Dean Larry Gossen announced.
“We can all attend at the old football field south of Ag Hall, and applaud the success of our NCTA students,” Gossen said. “This is cause for true celebration.”
Carter will be joined for the 1:30 p.m. ceremony by University Regent Bob Phares of North Platte and University Vice President Mike Boehm, among other dignitaries.
For more than a decade, NCTA graduation has been an indoor event at the Curtis Memorial Community Center, which is located several blocks south of campus.
In 2020, graduation and an awards program the evening prior were both virtual events due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
“This year, we are so very fortunate to keep everyone healthy and safe, here on campus with in-person classes and academic programs, and many public events for FFA youth, our stakeholders and industry organizations,” Gossen said.
The new dean at NCTA started his duties on June 15, 2020, coming to the largely-agricultural college from a career as an agricultural education teacher, state and national administrator with FFA and education.
“It’s been so refreshing for all of us in the University of Nebraska system, and particularly at our unique campus here in southwestern Nebraska, to resume a pace and to provide a place of relative normalcy for youth and our academic mission,” Gossen said.
On Monday, the Curtis campus hosted 109 guests, which included 46 prospective students and their families for a college-preparatory program entitled NCTA “Discovery Day.”
Guests and others on campus wore protective facial coverings as outlined in health protocols by NCTA, NU and the Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department.
Health measures will be followed for graduation. If inclement weather, graduation will be moved to the community center.
“We’ve all worked very hard this year, and particularly this semester to remain COVID-free with twice-weekly tests for our students, athletes, traveling teams and anyone who has been or will be in large-group settings,” Gossen said.
“The hard work pays off when we are able to plan a meaningful and significant event such as graduation,” Gossen added.