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Ridgewater commencement today in Hutchinson, Friday in Willmar

WILLMAR -- Commencement ceremonies at Ridgewater College will be held today in Hutchinson and Friday evening in Willmar.

The community and technical college expects to award degrees, diplomas and certificates to 383 Hutchinson graduates and 752 Willmar graduates.

The Hutchinson ceremony will be at 7 p.m. today in the commercial building at the McLeod County Fairgrounds in Hutchinson.

The Willmar ceremony will be at 7 p.m. Friday at the Willmar Civic Center.

Both events are open, and there are no tickets or assigned seating. The college has said graduates should be at the locations by 6 p.m., and families should arrive early for good seating.

The speaker in Willmar will be Sherry Ristau, president and chief executive of the Southwest Initiative Foundation. She spoke at Hutchinson's commencement in 2010.

Student speaker in Willmar is Lael Zwiefel, who is a liberal arts student with a human resource emphasis. He has a military background and was recommended by the liberal arts faculty in Willmar.

In Hutchinson, the speaker will be Emily Kringle, a Ridgewater graduate who has a master's degree in occupational therapy and has spent time volunteering to fit people for wheelchairs in Ukraine and Ghana.

Hutchinson's student speaker is Greta Pudas, an accounting student transferring to St. Cloud State University to pursue a bachelor's degree in accounting. She is a non-traditional student who was also highly recommended by the Hutchinson faculty.

Dan Burdett

Dan Burdett is the community content coordinator at the West Central Tribune. He has 13 years experience in print media, to include four years enlisted service in the United States Air Force. He has been an employee of Forum Communications since 2005, joining the company after spending two years as the managing editor of the Redwood Gazette and Livewire in Redwood Falls. Prior to his current position, Dan was the presentation editor at the Tribune.

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