WSC to award honorary degrees to Mayor Koeser and Senator Lyson | Williston State College

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WSC to award honorary degrees to Mayor Koeser and Senator Lyson

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WSC to award honorary degrees to Mayor Koeser and Senator Lyson

Posted: Mar 17 2014
WSC to award honorary degrees to Mayor Koeser and Senator Lyson

WILLISTON, N.D. - Spring is upon us. It is a time for growth and a time for celebration. Nowhere is that more apparent than at Williston State College. While WSC begins the usual arrangements for this spring's commencement ceremony, they will be adding a couple more names to the list of those receiving degrees.

Both Mayor Ward Koeser and Senator Stanley Lyson have been awarded honorary degrees by the North Dakota University System (NDUS).

"Every year when reviewing plans for graduation, we tend to think not only of our students, but of those who have made a profound impact on our community and Williston State," says Kayla McKeil, WSC Director for Marketing.

Each institution within the NDUS has the ability to nominate individuals for honorary degrees. State Board of Higher Education policy 430.1 dictates that "the renown of the candidate should reflect favorably on the Board, the institution it governs, and the State of North Dakota" and "must have achieved a level of distinction".

These requirements for an honorary degree were met, if not exceeded, by both individuals. Public servants for the better part of their lives, Koeser and Lyson have dedicated their time and energy to the people of Williston, and to a larger extent, the people of North Dakota. 

"Both Koeser and Lyson's names were mentioned early on in the nomination process," said McKeil. "However, their nearing retirement from long-held positions just made the timing for an award like this right."

Mayor Koeser expressed his deepest gratitude and thanks when notified. "I am truly honored to receive this honorary degree from WSC.  Williston is a better community because of the influence of our college and to be so honored is a highlight of my years serving as mayor." 

Senator Lyson commented, "I feel very humbled thinking I will receive this high honor. I remember seeing this college grow from its beginning to a highly respected member of higher education. It is with sincere gratitude that I will accept your award and share it with my family." 

WSC plans to award both men this distinguished honor at their upcoming spring commencement ceremony, May 16th, 2014.

For more information about the honorary degrees, please contact Kayla McKeil. For all other information about Williston State College, please call 701.774.4200, visit, or stop by 1410 University Ave.
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