Carroll College Celebrates 106th Commencement

Monday, May 16, 2016

HELENA, MONT. - On Saturday, May 14, 2016, Carroll College (Helena, Montana) conferred degrees on 335 graduates, its largest graduating class to date, during its 106th commencement ceremony held in Nelson Stadium on the Carroll College campus. The ceremony included a number of awards and honors for students, alumni, faculty and special guests.

The commencement speaker was Mr. Jim Sinegal. Mr. Sinegal is the co-founder and former CEO of Costco Wholesale Corporation. Mr. Sinegal also received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Carroll College during the ceremony. The conferral of an honorary degree recognizes the degree recipient’s lifetime achievement and contributions to society and our world community. Presenting the award was Carroll College President Dr. Tom Evans.

The class of 2016 senior speaker was Al Olszewski from Kalispell, Montana. He graduated with a degree in engineering science and minors in mathematics, physics and theatre. During his time at Carroll, Olszewski was involved with three summer internships: Sonju Industrial, an award-winning aerospace and defense manufacturer; the Space Science and Engineering Lab with the Montana Space Grant Consortium; and Proof Research, an aerospace and defense manufacturer. He was also involved in 12 theatre productions – nine at the college and three in the community. Following his graduation from Carroll, Olszewski has been accepted to a Ph.D. program in mechanical engineering at the University of Notre Dame.

The Michael Murphy Award for Outstanding Collegiate Citizenship was presented to Cody Noffsinger. Noffsinger has traveled four times with Engineers Without Borders to implement engineering projects to benefit an orphanage. He served as a delegate to an international Engineers Without Borders conference in Panama. Through ROTC, he traveled to Tanzania to teach English to high school students as part of a Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency mission. He is the founder and director of a nonprofit organization which promotes engineering education in Montana elementary schools. Through his commitment to civic duty, he was named a Newman Civic Fellow. He is commissioning into the Oregon Army National Guard as a Second Lieutenant with the 162nd Combat Engineers where he will serve as a Platoon Leader. He plans to pursue a career in project engineering in Portland, Oregon.

The college’s Bishop Gilmore Memorial Award for Outstanding Scholarship, awarded to seniors who have attained the highest grade-point average after four years at Carroll, was awarded to eight graduates: Stephanie Christensen from Helena, Mont.; Hanna Dotson from Clarkston, Wash.; Katelyn Friedt from Eagle, Idaho; Amelia Menke from Helena, Mont.; Victoria Nickol from Helena, Mont.; Albert Olszewski from Kalispell, Mont.; Emma Russell from Townsend, Mont.; and Dallas VanLuchene from Conrad, Mont.

At the ceremony, the college also announced that retiring faculty member, Mr. Philip Rose, has been conferred the title of professor emeritus. Phil Rose recently retired after 31 years serving as a professor of computer science and mathematics. As an educator, Rose embraces the liberal arts philosophy. To Rose, every discipline has value and is worthy of study. He taught math at Carroll and Latin at St. Andrew School. He was instrumental in developing a Computer Science program from the ground up. In addition, he also developed a Computer Information Systems program. He has a long list of classes he has taught, and many others he has encouraged others to teach. He is known as an enthusiastic professor and a supportive colleague with a keen sense of humor and a positive attitude.

Two annual faculty awards were also conferred. The Outstanding Teaching Award recipient was Dr. Kyle Strode, associate professor of chemistry, whose active learning opportunities, engaging teaching style and steadfast commitment to the success of his students merited the award. The Distinguished Scholar Award was awarded to Dr. Gerry Shields, professor of biology and the James J. Manion Endowed Chair of Biological Sciences, for his significant contributions to science through research and his mentorship and commitment to undergraduate research at the college.

Carroll College is a private, Catholic, liberal arts and pre-professional college in Montana's capital city of Helena. Carroll College has earned top national and regional awards for its academic programs, professors and extraordinary tuition value. For five years in a row, Carroll has been ranked as the number one regional college in the West by U.S. News & World Report.