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Campus Notes for July 27

Normandale Community College announces 2020 graduates list

Normandale Community College honored more than 1,200 graduates as part of its virtual commencement ceremony on May 27. The original ceremony was scheduled to take place at Orchestra Hall, but was moved to a virtual format due to COVID-19.

Over 200 graduates submitted photos and were part of the virtual commencement ceremony. A replay of the virtual ceremony can be viewed at normandale.edu/commencementstream.

The ceremony honored summer 2019 and fall 2019 graduates, along with the candidates for spring 2020 graduates.

Cottonwood: Braden Timm, associate of arts, liberal education, with high honors

Local students awarded scholarships at Concordia

Several area students received scholarships from Concordia College in Moorhead.

Lynd: Dean Pochardt, Presidential, Honors

Marshall: Emma Kepler, Presidential

Nicholas Dunn, Excellence, Speech

$10,000 in SWIF, CHS donations to support Ridgewater students in critical need

College students experience a wide variety of challenges. From balancing time and money, to cancelled day care and vehicle troubles, it has never been easy to be a college student. The pandemic hasn’t made things any easier, and has caused loss of jobs and related challenges.

To help students with these difficulties, the Ridgewater College Foundation created the Ridgewater Cares Emergency Fund (RCEF) about a year ago. The fund is designed to help students with emergency needs that may have otherwise caused them to leave school. As needs have intensified during the pandemic, so has community support for educational goals. Recently, the Ridgewater Foundation received a $5,000 donation from both the Southwest Initiative Foundation to support the RCEF effort and a $5,000 donation from the CHS Foundation, an organization tied to the CHS diversified global agribusiness cooperative, to support Ridgewater agriculture students in times of need.

“The Ridgewater Cares Emergency Fund assists students who are undergoing extreme financial difficulties so they can continue their education at Ridgewater College,” said Ashley Gabbert, Ridgewater Foundation director of annual giving and alumni relations. “If not resolved quickly, financial difficulties can hinder the students’ abilities to attend class, be successful, or remain enrolled.”

During the 2019-2020 school year, the RCEF assisted eight students. Situations varied from car repairs, gas money, rent and more. While the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding assisted many students during this much larger, short-term time of need, the RCEF will remain an essential resource for students experiencing hardships.

Recently, a Ridgewater student was in a difficult situation but wasn’t eligible for the federal CARES pandemic relief funding. The local RCEF, however, was able to assist, which allowed the student to remain in school. The $5,000 SWIF grant will help maintain the RCEF to support students in need. The $5,000 CHS Foundation donation will specifically assist agriculture students to align with the mission of CHS.

The CHS Foundation contributed that same amount to all its college and university partners.

“It is important to us to continue to show our support of and commitment to students so they can stay engaged, be successful and continue their career paths in agriculture,” said Nanci Lilja, CHS Foundation president.

“For several students, this has been a make-or-break situation,” Gabbert said. “They could either focus on the financial situation in front of them or they could keep showing up to class. We are so grateful to have donors who support these students so they can keep pursuing success in education.”Accessing Funds

To apply for funding, an eligible student in good academic standing must first meet with a college counselor. If RCEF support is deemed appropriate and is available, and no other community or campus resources are available, payment is most often made to the third party involved (i.e. auto repair shop) for the exact amount necessary to alleviate the situation (not to exceed a set cap). RCEF is a last resort.

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