SMSU names Student Commencement Marshals

Three juniors to help welcome commencement guests

hoto courtesy of Southwest Minnesota State University SMSU Provost Ross Wastvedt presented students Heather Arlen and Brenna Springborg with certificates naming them Student Commencement Marshals for today’s commencement ceremonies. Online student Madelyne Bulow (not pictured) was also named a Commencement Marshal.

MARSHALL — Three Southwest Minnesota State University students will be helping to welcome guests to the university’s commencement ceremonies today. On Friday, SMSU Provost Dr. Ross Wastvedt announced that three SMSU juniors have been chosen to serve as 2024 Student Commencement Marshals.

It’s the first time SMSU has awarded this recognition, university spokespeople said. Students Heather Arlen, Madelyn Bulow and Brenna Springborg were nominated for the honor by university faculty and staff.

SMSU’s 56th commencement ceremony takes place today at 10 a.m., in the R/A Facility.

In a news release, SMSU spokespeople said this is the first year that faculty and staff were invited to nominate outstanding juniors to be Student Commencement Marshals. Letters of nomination focused on candidates’ outstanding academic achievement and contributions to SMSU.

“It is really exciting to be among the first students chosen for this recognition,” said Springborg, a junior from Marshall. “I’m glad I am part of a new tradition at SMSU that honors our students and their dedication to their education.”

Springborg is majoring in communication studies, with a minor in health communications. She was nominated by communications studies professor Mark Fokken.

Arlen is a junior from Antigo, Wisconsin, who is majoring in sports management with minors in sports psychology, coaching and strength and conditioning. She was nominated to be a Commencement Marshal by women’s swimming and diving head coach Marty Wahle.

“After learning that my coach nominated me, it made me feel honored and valued as not only a leader on my team but also on campus,” Arlen said. “Everyone that has been a part of my journey has helped me become a better version of myself.”

Bulow is a junior online student, from Mantorville, Minnesota. Bulow is majoring in English with a management minor. She was nominated by library professor Dr. Maria Kingsbury.

“Being nominated and chosen for this is truly an honor,” said Bulow said. “I have never received an academic award as an online student, which makes it all the more special to me.”

The three Student Commencement Marshals received a certificate from Wastvedt and SMSU President Kumara Jayasuriya, and a commemorative lapel pin. They’ll also get a complimentary cap and gown rental for their own commencement in 2025, SMSU spokespeople said.


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