The University of Minnesota Crookston will celebrate its 57th graduating class with a commencement ceremony on May 4, 2024 at 11 a.m. in Lysaker Gymnasium. This year’s keynote speaker is Julie Borlaug, a visionary leader in the field of agricultural innovation and sustainability with a profound legacy rooted in her grandfather, Norman E. Borlaug's pioneering work in the Green Revolution. Norman Borlaug Ph.D., a University of Minnesota alumnus, was a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his impact on food production particularly in Asia and Latin America.

Julie Borlaug of Borlaug Consulting has spanned various roles in her career and transformed the agricultural landscape through partnerships, advocacy, and innovation. She has held significant positions at the Norman E. Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture where she has been instrumental in promoting agricultural development and sustainability across the globe. Julie’s commitment to continuing her grandfather’s legacy through modern approaches to agricultural challenges makes her an invaluable asset to organizations looking to make a meaningful impact in the fight against hunger and poverty.

Commencement exercises at U of M Crookston will include a reception for graduating students and their families, plus a special gathering for online students before the Commencement ceremony. The formal procession of faculty, candidates for degree, and platform guests will begin from Sargeant Student Center to Lysaker Gymnasium led by mace bearer Kenneth Myers, M.S., associate professor in the Business Department, and includes faculty marshal Phillip Baird, M.S., associate professor for the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department. University of Minnesota Regent Tadd Johnson of Duluth, Minn., will bring greetings and assist with conferring the degrees. U of M Crookston Alumni Association (UMCAA) Board President Alisha (Aasness) Asleson 2012 will bring greetings from UMCAA and welcome new graduates to the alumni association. Under the direction of TJ Chapman, M.M. and M.S., lecturer in the Math, Science, and Technology Department, the U of M Crookston Community Band will perform a number of selections, and the campus vocal ensemble will perform under the direction of Associate Professor George French, Ed.D. Crookston Student Association (CSA) Vice President Braden Letourneau, a senior majoring in animal science and equine science with a pre-vet emphasis from White Bear Lake, Minn., will speak on behalf of the Class of 2024.

This year marks the campus’ 116th graduation ceremony after its inception in 1906 as an agricultural high school, the Northwest School of Agriculture (NWSA). The NWSA held its first ceremony in 1909. In the fall of 1966, classes began for students at the new University of Minnesota Technical Institute, and the U of M “Tech” and NWSA shared the campus for two years. In the spring of 1968, a torch was passed from the 60th and final graduating class of the NWSA to the first graduating class of the Technical Institute. The University of Minnesota Crookston earned its approval to offer baccalaureate degrees in the early 1990s and, by the end of the academic year in 1994, 20 students had completed bachelor’s degree requirements and were recognized at the 86th commencement ceremony. U of M Crookston celebrated its 30th anniversary as a four-year institution in 2023.

To stream the 2024 ceremony, go to For the 2024 candidate list and for more information, visit

About U of M Crookston

The Crookston campus is one of five statewide campuses of the prestigious University of Minnesota System. With a current enrollment of over 1,600 undergraduates both on campus and online, U of M Crookston offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere, top-level technology, and a distinctive focus on applied, experiential learning.