News Releases

Dakota College Announces 2022 Commencement


Dakota College at Bottineau is excited to recognize students at its commencement this spring. The ceremony will be held at the Dakota College gym and will recognize 110 of the 240 graduating students on Friday, May 13th at 3:00 pm. The commencement event will also be streamed at

The college opened in 1906 as the North Dakota School of Forestry. This year marks the 115th anniversary of the college’s founding. Students are candidates for associate degrees and certificates. Dakota College has students graduating in liberal arts and transfer degrees and career and technical degrees such as health care, business, information technology, photography, horticulture, agriculture, and natural resources.

Along with a strong liberal arts curriculum, Dakota College is also known for its robust distance-learning program through online courses and dual credit offerings at area high schools. Through its dual-credit program, there will be 14 Leading to Education and Advanced Preparation (LEAP) graduates.  They represent six North Dakota high schools with seven of them walking at this year’s ceremony. The LEAP program is designed to allow high school students to earn a Certificate of College Studies in conjunction with their high school diploma.

BurtChloe.jpgA student guest speaker is selected each year for commencement. This year’s student is Chloe Burt from Maidstone, SK.  She will be graduating with an Associate of Science degree in Biology and is honored to deliver comments on behalf of the student body. While attending DCB, Chloe has been a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society for the past two years and has held the Vice President position for the last year. She has also been a member of the Student Senate and DCB’s Honors Program. During this past semester, Chloe earned the Excellence in Science – Biology award and was celebrated as Smokey’s Queen. Chloe came to DCB to join the Ladyjacks Women’s Hockey Team for the inaugural year and helped lead her team to finish as the runner-up in the 2022 ACHA National Tournament. After graduation from DCB, Chloe plans to attend Adrian College to study Biology and continue her hockey career. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she plans to enter a Doctor of Chiropractic program. Chloe is the daughter of Shayne and Amanda Burt.

JohnsonWayne.jpgThis year’s commencement speaker is Wayne Johnson, coach of the Ladyjacks Basketball team for 20 plus years. The Ladyjacks had their third national tournament appearance this year under the guidance of Coach Johnson. After serving as a faculty member and coach for 23 years at Dakota College, Mr. Johnson is retiring at the close of this season.  A native of Overly, ND, Wayne currently resides in Bottineau with his wife Holly.  They have five grown children and a plethora of grandchildren.

Honorary Degrees will be presented to LeAnn Kihle and Dr. Kenneth Kihle (posthumously) in recognition of their outstanding records of service to Dakota college and the State of North Dakota.  

Ken & LeAnn 2019-20.jpgDr. Kihle served as a medical doctor from 1960 until his death in 2021. He co-founded the Bottineau Clinic and was instrumental in raising funds for the St. Andrew’s Hospital addition. He helped create the Bottineau Ambulance service.  Dr. Kihle was one of the founders of the Dakota College at Bottineau Foundation. He was the founder, director, and instructor at Turtle Mountain School of Paramedical Technique for 25 years and worked closely with Dakota College in his role.  His contributions to the community were many and he was a member and leader in many community groups and organizations.

LeAnn Kihle was truly a partner with Dr. Kihle in many of the activities. As a registered nurse, she was actively involved with her husband in several key health initiatives in the Bottineau community. She and her husband were among the first donors to establish an endowment for providing scholarships to Dakota College students.  She was one of the inaugural members of the college’s annual Evergreen event, which continues to raise significant scholarship funds for students.  LeAnn remains a friend and supporter of Dakota College at Bottineau and the North Dakota University System.   
Community, friends, and family of the Dakota College graduates are invited to join in the public ceremony on Friday, May 13th at 3:00 pm or via streaming at