Second Lady Biden gives Commencement address at NTC

Jun 14th, 2013 | By | Category: Online TC News, Tribal College News, Web Exclusive
By Daniel Vandever

THE SECOND LADY: Dr. Jill Biden greets those in attendance at NTC’s spring commencement. Photo by Daniel Vandever

The Second Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, addressed 176 graduating students and their families at Navajo Technical College’s (NTC, Crownpoint, NM) spring commencement. Biden visited NTC after the Aspen Institute named recognized the college for the second consecutive year as being one of the top 120 community colleges in the United States.

“All of you graduating today stand on the shoulders of those who came before you—your parents, your grandparents, and all of your ancestors. It is their vision, and their determination that created this community and built this college,” Biden stated. “So as we celebrate your accomplishments here today, we also remember and acknowledge their sacrifices to make this all possible.”

Biden, an educator for more than 30 years, continues to teach full-time at a community college in Northern Virginia and stressed the importance of such colleges in her address. “College is a place that changes lives, for the better. And tribal colleges are especially unique places, particularly for students who might otherwise not have the opportunity to attain a higher education. Tribal colleges, like community colleges, meet students exactly where they are,” she declared.

This year’s graduating class featured the first student to graduate from NTC with a four-year, baccalaureate degree. Dody Begay of Sawmill, AZ, earned his Bachelor of Applied Science degree in information technology. Also graduating was student congress president for the American Indian Higher Education Consortium and NTC’s student congress president, Dwight Carlston of Falcons Nest, NM. Also featured at NTC’s spring commencement was the introduction of the Navajo Nation’s first poet laureate, Luci Tapahonso.

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