GRAND FORKS – Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond is set to give the main address at UND’s spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 14. The ceremony will also see honorary degrees conferred to Food Network show host Molly Yeh, and other local entrepreneurs and philanthropists.
Raymond will speak at both the graduate degrees ceremony at 9 a.m. and the undergraduate degrees ceremony at 2 p.m., at the Alerus Center on May 14. The morning ceremony will also see the presentation of new Chester Fritz Distinguished Professors, UND’s highest academic honor. The ceremonies will be streamed live on
and will also be available for on-demand viewing. UND President Andrew Armacost will preside.
1/1: Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond is set to give the main address at UND’s spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 14.
Also on May 14, honorary degrees will be conferred on Food Network host and local resident Molly Yeh, business leader and philanthropist Henry Herr, and entrepreneur Delore Zimmerman during the afternoon ceremony.
Commencement ceremonies for the UND School of Law will take place in the Chester Fritz Auditorium at 10 a.m. on May 7, with the School of Medicine & Health Sciences following at 2:30 p.m.
Candidates eligible for graduation number nearly 2,000 people, with 639 graduate and doctoral students, 1,128 bachelor’s degree candidates, 63 law graduates, and 69 who will receive their M.D. An additional 13 law students who graduated in December will be recognized at the School of Law commencement ceremony on May 7.
Raymond, the chief of space operations for the U.S. Space Force, is responsible for organizing, training and equipping Guardians serving in the U.S. and overseas. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the general and other service chiefs function as military advisers to the Secretary of Defense, National Security Council and the President.
Raymond has a special connection to UND. He served at Grand Forks Air Force Base from 1985 to 1989, where he met his future wife, Mollie, who was then a UND student.
In 2021, Raymond and Armacost signed a historic agreement between the Space Force and UND, making the
university the first member
of the Space Force’s University Partnership Program.
Honorary degree recipients
Molly Yeh is an award-winning food blogger, cookbook author and host of Food Network’s “Girl Meets Farm.” The show debuted in June 2018, and is filmed at her East Grand Forks home. She was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Culinary Host in 2019. The Chicago native is a 2011 graduate of The Juilliard School in New York City. It was there she met her husband, a fifth-generation farmer from the Greater Grand Forks region.
It was recently announced that Yeh will be
opening a restaurant
in East Grand Forks in the coming months.
Henry Herr, from Bismarck, is an accountant and business leader who earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from UND. He was selected for UND’s Accounting Hall of Fame in 2011 and for the UND Alumni Association & Foundation’s Sioux Award in 2015.
Herr helped found medical companies Healthways — now Tivity Health — in 1981 and AmSurg in 1992. While at those companies helped create thousands of jobs, serve millions of patients and grow the firms into companies with market capitalizations in the billions of dollars. Herr has also become known for his philanthropy. At UND, Herr has endowed a professorship, an endowed chair and multiple funds in the Department of Accountancy.
Wishek, North Dakota-native Delore Zimmerman is the founder and president of Praxis Strategy Group, which is headquartered in Grand Forks. He is an economic strategist, researcher, activist and developer. He has advised technology, agriculture and economic development organizations in Wales, England, South Korea and Tanzania, in addition to his decades of work in the Greater Grand Forks region.
He has been awarded eight Small Business Innovation Research awards funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development. Zimmerman earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees in sociology from UND in 1976 and 1979. He then went on to receive a doctorate from Pennsylvania State University.
Chester Fritz Distinguished Professors
Glenda Lindseth, a nursing professor in the College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines and Sean Valentine, a professor of entrepreneurship and management, will be recognized as
Chester Fritz Distinguished Professors
on May 14. Julia Zhou, who was also named Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of Chemistry this year, will take part in a future ceremony.
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