Dunwoody Class of 2018 joins proud history

85% of Dunwoody’s graduating class already employed in their field

On Thursday, May 17, more than 480 students walked across the stage and joined Dunwoody’s long and proud history of motivated and determined alumni.

Dunwoody’s 2017-18 Commencement Ceremony took place at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Rob Borchardt, Associate Director of Career Services, reported that at the time of Commencement, 85% of the graduating class was already employed in their field.

“Our core mission is to ensure students find work in their field upon graduating,” Borchardt said. “Dunwoody staff and faculty are committed to ensuring our students are highly employable. This year was no different. We are very proud of the graduating class.”

Student Speaker Gianna Madison reflects on time at Dunwoody
Bachelor of Architecture graduate Gianna Madison

Bachelor of Architecture graduate Gianna Madison

Gianna Madison, one of the College’s first graduates from the Bachelor of Architecture program, was selected as the student speaker. The 2018 graduation ceremony marked the third degree she has received from Dunwoody.

“During my time at Dunwoody, I have seen the school expand, in terms of programs and footprint,” Madison said. “I have seen community outreach become more deliberate. And I have seen collaboration among the different departments become a priority. All of these changes have taught me that not only is change inevitable, but it is also necessary if progress is to be made.”

Madison also shared eight important lessons she has learned throughout her professional and college career, urging graduates to do the same:

    1. Be grateful for every day, and show appreciation.
    2. Ask for help when needed. It teaches humility.
    3. Help others whenever possible. It builds character.
    4. Build a strong support system and rely on it.
    5. Challenge yourself, your thoughts, and your beliefs.
    6. Don’t procrastinate.
    7. Embrace challenges because a challenge is an opportunity yet to be explored.
    8. No matter what, never give up. You will never know what level of greatness you can reach if you don’t give yourself the opportunity to do so.
Mark Sherry keynotes Dunwoody Commencement
President of Mortenson Development Incorporated and Senior Vice President of Mortenson Construction Company Mark Sherry

President of Mortenson Development Incorporated and Senior Vice President of Mortenson Construction Company Mark Sherry

Mark Sherry, President of Mortenson Development Incorporated and Senior Vice President of Mortenson Construction Company, was the ceremony’s keynote speaker.

Sherry, an ‘87 Dunwoody Architectural Drafting & Estimating Technology alum, described his journey to Dunwoody and lessons learned throughout his 30-year career with Mortenson Construction. He also applauded the Class of 2018 on their accomplishments and shared what they can expect now because of their degrees.

“The education you have received at Dunwoody gives you a competitive advantage in the marketplace,” he said. “You will come to business better prepared with a hands-on applied learning experience. At Dunwoody, your educators have worked in the field they are teaching…you have had the opportunity to utilize state of the art equipment and tools. And because of your hard work and Dunwoody’s partnership with industry, you likely find yourself already employed, or soon to be.”

“You are very lucky,” he continued. “You are graduating at a time where the need for you in business is at an all-time high. You are in that proverbial right place at the right time with the right degree. It’s a great time to be a Dunwoody grad.”

President Rich Wagner challenges Dunwoody grads
Dunwoody College of Technology President Rich Wagner

Dunwoody College of Technology President Rich Wagner

After the degrees were awarded and diplomas were distributed, President Rich Wagner reminded graduates that it’s now their turn to build on the Dunwoody legacy.

“We hear from employers that they hire Dunwoody graduates first,” he said. “We have employers tell us their best employees are Dunwoody graduates. Employers tell us how far ahead Dunwoody graduates are compared to other programs. When you tell people that you attended Dunwoody, you’ll hear how wonderful the school is, when I talk about Dunwoody I hear the same. And all of this is because of Dunwoody’s reputation. A reputation built by Dunwoody alumni.”

“…the legacy of Dunwoody is now in your hands,” he continued. “You now represent the best Dunwoody has to offer, and your actions and accomplishments will build Dunwoody’s reputation for the next generation of Dunwoody students. We look forward with great anticipation to hearing about your successes.”

Congratulations to all of Dunwoody’s 2017-18 graduates.

Photo credit: Stan Waldhauser Photo/Design

View more Commencement photos.