Wow. Here we are again.

Writing a post that somehow encompasses 4 years of my time. I don’t really think it is even possible. I have a hard time keeping a 5 minute presentation short and sweet. SO with that in mind I’m going to shift it a bit. It’s 7:34 am on the morning of graduation, I’m in my hometown cafe sipping on the best coffee in the land. and just thinking. Easier said then done.

If you know me you may know that my mind moves fast and tackles about three problems before I’ve cleared the first hurdle completely. That’s just how I think and as result write. So when I think back on these 4 years spent in beautiful Fargo, ND at NDSU I can only think about how amazing the people are that surrounded me and helped put me where I am. 

I’ve been privileged to surround myself with people that challenge, energize, excite, console, move, and all-in-all make me a better person. From LaVonn, the amazing coffee barista at Barry Hall that always greets you with the warmest smile and largest hug one could ever need to the calculus professor that pushed me so hard freshman year that I challenged nearly everything he taught me. (For the record he was right, always. But I didn’t learn that until he taught me of course.) 

NOTE: He’s also the same man that Senior year stops me in the middle of campus and asks, “Austin! How is your Senior year?” (His memory and ability to care for even his most challenging students deserve awards)

Every single one of these individuals and more deserve the world. Through their hard work and dedication to my education I got to where I am today. 

Walking across the graduation stage at the Fargodome to shake the hands of the amazing new College of Business Dean, Scott Beaulier and the President, Dean Bresciani to accept my diploma.

I feel like I have some thank you’s to share:

To my incredible parents. Thank you. And I’m sorry that today is going to be hard. It’s going to be hard because you have done such an amazing job. You’ve given me the values and work ethic that makes me who I am today and allows me the opportunities to explore the world around me unbounded. You’ve provided a guiding light to me and have supported me through any decision I’ve made. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

“It’s hard not to be afraid. Be less afraid.” — Susan Sontag

To the friends I’ve made at and around NDSU. Thank you. As we say our “see you later’s” today know it’s not easy but that’s okay. It’s all okay. It means someday in the near future we’ll run across each other again and that moment will be truly stunning. I’m extremely proud of my friends graduating today, as well as those that have already graduated and moved into “the real world.” You each have had trials and tribulations in your journey to this moment as well and I’m incredibly proud that you have overcame them. We all falter, but what matters is your ability to move forward. And that’s exactly what you all have done. 

“To be your own person, you need good friends. Friends are the treasure of your life.” — Garrison Keillor

To the NDSU College of Business Faculty and Staff. Thank you. Your wisdom and ability to push me have put me here today. Thank you for constantly moving me forward. From the funny to the serious you each have a character and memory in my mind that I wouldn’t trade the world for. Continue to shape the face of the future. You guys give the best Dress Rehearsal. 

“Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead.” — Nora Ephron

To North Dakota State University (I’m spelling it out so it sounds like they are in trouble). Thank you. From my experience of being welcomed into multiple colleges across campus I have been given the privilege to see how amazing the entire university it. There is something special happening at NDSU and I’m proud to be one piece of that. 

“One can acquire everything in solitude but character.” — Stendhal

To Fargo-Moorhead. Thank you. From the beautiful downtown and riverwalk where I took my thoughts and ideas to grow to the bustling and quant coffee shops I call home each week you have provided the true home away from home. I’m deeply appreciative to this community and it’s ability to shape and foster amazing minds.

“We have all known the long loneliness, and we have found that the answer is community.” — Dorothy Day


As I tear up, as I’ve already done many times this week, know it’s because you have each changed my life for the better and that you are incredibly important to me. The impact you have left on my life will not go unnoticed. Thank you.

Well I just sipped my last few drops of coffee and I can only think about the future. The power the future has. While we don’t know what the future has in store for us all. We will all run to it with open arms, it’s our only choice. SO to the college graduates, family of graduates, person sitting across the coffee shop from me, and everyone that can read these words, run like a child that just heard the future might have candy and enjoy every second.

“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel” — Socrates