An Open Letter to the Class of 2023

Congratulations to you, the Class of 2023, and the friends and family members who have helped you achieve your goals.

Commencement is the day you’ve been waiting for, graduates. The day you’ve been working so hard for. The day you’ve dreamed of since you first joined the Dragon Family.

Now that it’s finally here, I suspect it’s bittersweet. There’s excitement and anticipation, yes, but also the uncertainty that comes with any life transition. There’s the knowledge that you’ll miss MSUM and the friendships and memories you’ve created here.

I know how you feel. I’m facing a similar transition as I retire from MSUM after nine years as your president. Like you, I’m not entirely sure what’s next. But I know one thing for sure: Whatever the future holds, we’re up for the challenge.
Because we are Dragons. Fierce and formidable. We have a fire in our hearts that is fueled by our passion for making our world a better place. We have the grit to pursue big goals and the tenacity to achieve them. And we have the humility to understand that no one achieves big goals without a lot of help from others.

So, graduates, before you leave us, be sure to thank those who’ve played an important role in your success at MSUM. As I conclude my 40-year career in higher education, I feel well-qualified to say that our faculty and staff are among the most talented and dedicated educators anywhere.

Your Dragon Family is so proud of you, graduates, and all you have accomplished to this point. We hope you are proud of MSUM and will stay connected to your alma mater.

Congratulations and best wishes for continued success. We cannot wait to see what you will accomplish next!

Dr. Anne Blackhurst served as Minnesota State University Moorhead’s 11th president from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2023.

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