Havre Daily News
A week filled with the agony of finals will culminate with the thrill of commencement at Stone Child College's graduation ceremony Friday.
This year, the tribal college on Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation will award the largest number of degrees in its history, registrar Shelley Viall said Tuesday.
The school is up one graduate and three degrees from last year, with 37 graduates receiving 40 degrees.
Commencement will begin at 10 a.m. in Kennewash Hall, with refreshments to follow.
Valedictorian Daryl Wright Sr., who has a 4.0 GPA, will receive two associate degrees, one in teacher education and one in liberal arts. Salutatorian Lynden Billy will receive an associate of science degree.
Two honorary degrees will be given to John G. Meyers and Dorothy Small.
Native American studies instructor Robert Murie will be the keynote speaker. Murie said he will speak about the importance of culture within education and “why it is important to know who you are, where you come from and where you are going.”
Murie said graduates should value their schooling but remain humble.
“Don't let the education go to your head - use it to help people, including yourself,” he added.
Prior to the the commencement, Stone Child College will host an evening of the arts tonight and a dinner Thursday evening.
Tonight's event will show off the students' talents, which include poetry reading, flute playing and acting in the play “Girl Who Loved Her Horses.” A student art exhibit will be on display in the foyer.
A lasagna dinner will be served and the show will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Kennewash Hall.
“It'll be a fun evening for everybody,” Stone Child College president Melody Henry said.
Thursday's Mexican dinner will begin at the school's snack bar at 6:30 p.m. and will include speeches by Henry and librarian Tracy Jilot.
“We wanted to do something to show we are proud of all our graduates,” Henry said.
She said the college will hopefully continue to build on the record-breaking number.
The college is expanding its curriculum to offer degrees in fine arts, an engineering assistant program, courses on construction technology and a customer relations specialist degree, Henry said.
This spring, the college began classes to help train students for jobs in the Chippewa Cree Tribe's Northern Winz casino. One-credit courses include customer relations, introduction to gaming maintenance, history of gaming and electronic cash register management. Henry said the college will offer the courses throughout the year.