News Release

Commencement for the Class of 2018

By Elizabeth Tollefson on
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Peggy (Lee) Hilton from the Class of 1968 will address the University of Minnesota Crookston Class of 2018 during commencement exercises on Saturday, May 5. Graduates will take part in the ceremony, which begins at 2 p.m. in Lysaker Gymnasium, Sports Center. All are welcome to Dalton Javnerattend.

Hilton is a member of the Class of 1968, the first graduating class from the University of Minnesota Crookston Technical Institute.  Graduating with high distinction, she earned an associate degree in applied science, specializing in legal.  She started her 30-year career in Crookston working as a legal secretary/paralegal and went on to work for noteworthy law firms in both the Twin Cities and in Seattle, Wash.  In 1998, Hilton retired early in order to thru-hike the 2,660-mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada with her husband on his 7-month sabbatical. During her non-work life, Hilton has been a competitive runner and has engaged in extensive mountain climbing and hiking adventures. She currently lives in Seattle with her husband, Jim.

A reception in the Northern Lights Lounge, Sargeant Student Center, precedes the commencement ceremony from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The public is welcome to attend both events; no tickets or parking permits are required. Additionally, online graduates will have an opportunity to meet faculty at 11 a.m. in the Prairie Room, Sargent Student Center followed by a special recognition for students who are Veterans, Active Duty, Reserves, and National Guard members taking place from 12:30 to 1 p.m. in the Prairie Room.

On Saturday at 2 p.m., the formal procession of faculty, candidates for degrees, and platform guests will begin from the Sargeant Student Center to the gymnasium led by Mace Bearer Professor W. Daniel Svedarsky, The procession also includes Faculty Marshal Sharon Stewart, associate professor in the Math, Science, and Technology Department.

Bringing greetings from the University of Minnesota Board of Regents is the Honorable Richard Beeson, St. Paul. Minn., who also will assist with the conferring of the degrees.

University of Minnesota, Crookston Alumni Association (UMCAA) Board President Eric Morgan 2012 will bring greetings from the UMCAA and welcome the new graduates to the alumni association. The U of M Crookston Community Band under the direction of TJ Chapman, lecturer in the Math, Science, and Technology Department, will perform along with selections during the ceremony by the campus choir under the direction of Associate Professor George French.

Crookston Student Association (CSA) President Dalton Javner, a senior majoring in health sciences from Hardwick, Minn., will speak on behalf of the Class of 2018. Junior Ben Koisti will accept the torch of education, a Crookston campus tradition, as the incoming CSA president.

A reception for international student graduates will be held following commencement exercises at 4 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.

The 2018 commencement exercises mark the 110th graduating class to be recognized on the Crookston campus. A live audio stream of the commencement exercises will be available at

For more information, visit the commencement website at

The University of Minnesota Crookston now delivers 35 bachelor's degree programs, 23 minors, and 40 areas of emphasis on campus as well as 16 degree programs entirely online.  These degrees are offered in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit

In the photo, at top right, is Dalton Javner who will be speaking on behalf of the graduating class. 


Elizabeth Tollefson

University Relations