Dear Community Members,
We celebrated our Commencement this past Saturday and had approximately 160 students from 10 countries walk across the stage. Hats off to them for their accomplishments and our many faculty and staff who educated and helped on this life journey.
Congratulations to our NACTA, DECA and e-Fest students who were all winners at their national (and international) contests. The North American College for Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) team took home the division sweepstakes trophy along with several first, second, and third place wins in Modesto, California. UMC Collegiate DECA was recognized at the International Career and Development Conference in Orlando, Florida as one of the top ten collegiate DECA chapters during the 2022-2023 school year. Two UMN Crookston students who participated in e-Fest at the University of St. Thomas took third place and received $20,000 to use to advance their business idea called “Greenscapes” which takes recycled glass bottles, crushes them, and turns them into fine sand that can be used on golf courses. These Golden Eagles make us UMN Proud of their accomplishments.
If it seems to you that our athletic teams have been doing better the last few years, you are right. When we discontinued the football program we took some of those resources and were able to enhance staffing in some sports, facility improvements, and increase the number of scholarships allowed by the NCAA for many of our sports. Some of this generosity was matched by the Crookston Baseball Association for the softball and baseball programs. Here are a few highlights from some of the men’s and women’s sports.
- The baseball team has had their winningest stretch as a program in the last nine years under coach Steve Gust, as they have notched 200 wins since 2015, including a program record 32 wins thus far in 2023. The Golden Eagles have also seen an increase in scholarships during this time, becoming fully funded as per NCAA standards, and have seen facility improvements including a new pressbox, clubhouse, and grandstand.
- The softball team has had their winningest two seasons in program history in 2022 and 2023. During this time, the Golden Eagle softball program also became fully funded as per NCAA standards.
- The tennis team had their best season in program history in 2023, along with Madeleine Schneider setting records in No. 1 singles wins and singles wins in a season. The tennis program has also seen an increase in scholarships.
- The men's golf team shot four rounds in 2022-23 that rank in the Top 10 rounds since 2009 for the program. In addition, they received the Mark Laesch Award for improvement in stroke average. The Golden Eagles had a great spring, including finishing second of 11 teams at the BSU Invite. Layton Bartley has had two Top 15 finishes in the last two years. The golf team has seen an increase in scholarships and had the Minnesota Crookston Golf Performance Center completed in the spring of 2019.
- The women's golf team had their best finish since 2008-09 placing 10th of 13 teams at the NSIC Women's Golf Championship. In addition, Anaka Lysne shot the program's two best individual scores in program history. The team has seen an increase in scholarships and had the Minnesota Crookston Golf Performance Center completed in the spring of 2019.
- Belle Sand was named the IHSA Western Semi Finals Open Individual Reining Champion. The equestrian programs have also become more competitive in the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) and this is due to an increase in scholarships and staffing.
- The women's basketball team has made the NSIC Tournament five of the last 12 years. They have facility improvements during this time with Lysaker Gymnasium receiving new bleachers, an update to the floor, a new sound system, and a new scorer's table with video component.
- The men's basketball team made the NSIC Tournament for the first time during the 2018-19 season. They have facility improvements during this time with Lysaker Gymnasium receiving new bleachers, an update to the floor, a new sound system, and a new scorer's table with video component.
- The hockey program was reinstilled during the 2020-21 season at the ACHA Division II level. They have had a tremendous amount of success, making it to the ACHA Division II Central Region Tournament for the first time as a program during the 2022-23 season. In addition, they finished third at the WCCHA Tournament.
- We started our women’s/men’s cross country teams in 2019 and have seen improvements in the standings every year, and have been able to enhance scholarship dollars in those sports.
- We started our club trap team in 2019 and participate in the USA College Clay Target League. This past season we finished third in our conference and had two of the top shooters in our male/female divisions.
- We have hired new coaching staff in our women’s volleyball and women’s soccer programs which have enhanced recruiting in both of those sports, and we look forward to an exciting season.
Enrollment for fall is looking pretty strong. This past Fall, we started working with a firm called Guild. They are a concierge for educational services and help corporate firms make educational services available to their employees. One of their clients is Target, Inc. The partnership yielded 42 new enrolled online students in Fall 2022 and 81 newly enrolled students for Spring 2023, and the summer numbers are looking even stronger. Current employer partners are: Target Corp, Shipt, Inc. (a subsidiary of Target), AdventHealth, Baylor Scott & White Health, Smithfield Foods, Providence Health, and OSF HealthCare.
Have a safe and wonderful summer.