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Fast friends, honors grads address commencement

Bruce Barker poses student commencement speakers Christine Stedman (left) and Patricia Olafson. Olafson is from Prescott and now resides in Ellsworth. Submitted photo

Patricia Olafson and Christine Stedman have done a lot together since meeting in a registration line, and May 7, they graduated together with honors from the Administrative Assistant program of Chippewa Valley Technical College in River Falls.

"After taking Oral Interpersonal Communications and successfully giving my speech in class, I have the courage to do this speech tonight," Stedman said. She was joined again by Olafson in making the student commencement address.

The remark was clearly approved of moments later when CVTC Communications Instructor Gregg Nelson took the stage with remarks titled "The Gateway of Graduation."

Nelson, as President Bruce Barker indicated, does the lion's share of communications instruction at the campus on South Wasson Lane in River Falls.

"It always feels good to come to these ceremonies because there's such a positive feel to them," Nelson said.

It was a good night too for dead poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. Both President Barker and Nelson saw fit to quote the 19th Century Transcendentalist.

"We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities," Nelson recited to the 60 graduates and their families.