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Dec. 17, 2015
When Northwest Missouri State University celebrates its winter commencement Friday, the ceremonies will close a chapter in the lives of students who have established lifelong bonds with college classmates during the course of a few years.
For graduating students Shelby Goslar, Tarin Clausen and Nathan Vogt, their bond as classmates was established long ago. The trio of lifelong friends grew up together in Charter Oak, Iowa, and have been classmates since preschool.
All three even majored in programs in the University’s School of Agricultural Sciences. Goslar is earning her degree in agricultural business, Clausen a degree in animal science with a pre-vet emphasis, and Vogt is earning his Bachelor of Technology degree in agriculture.
“I think it’s pretty special to have two of my friends with me alongside whenever I needed them,” Goslar said.
While Charter Oak’s population barely clears 500 people, Goslar, Clausen and Vogt graduated grade school from Charter Oak-Ute Community School with a class of 27 students. They are proud to be the first members of that class to earn four-year degrees and the only ones to travel beyond Iowa’s borders for college.
As their college plans developed, they learned about Northwest – a three-hour drive from Charter Oak – during college fairs and campus visits but never envisioned attending the University together.
Goslar was the first of the group to choose Northwest, deciding she liked the size of the campus and the feel of the agriculture program. Clausen had settled on another school before having a late change-of-heart and enrolling in Northwest, where her father also is an alumnus. Vogt transferred to Northwest after earning an associate degree at Iowa Western Community College.
Each of them found a niche in the School of Agricultural Sciences. They maintained memberships in Block and Bridle, an animal science club. Goslar and Clausen also were members of the Delta Tau Alpha agriculture honor society, and Clausen participated in ATA/CFFA/PAS, an honorary agriculture organization for students to develop professional and leadership skills. They enjoyed attending football games together, too.
At Northwest they found a home away from home through the support and relationships they developed with faculty.
“I just liked walking into the ag building, and the teachers know me by name,” Vogt said.
“Even when you haven’t had them for a while,” Clausen added.
“Even professors that aren’t in the ag program recognize you and ask how you’re doing,” Goslar said. “It’s really a hometown feeling, but at a different level.”
To begin their next chapter, Goslar and Vogt have secured jobs, and Clausen plans to continue her education. Goslar begins her career with Omaha-based Ag Processing Inc. and will work as a grain merchandiser at its St. Joseph location, while Vogt will start work as an agronomist assistant at the Charter Oak office of GFG Ag Services LLC. Clausen is applying to veterinary schools and will work at a Denison, Iowa, veterinary clinic during the interim.
As they reflect on their years at Northwest, the friends say they’ve grown through their experiences and broadened their perspectives, developing an appreciation for other views along the way.
“Everyone is different, and if you take the time to listen to other people’s backgrounds it’s really interesting,” Goslar said. “I like how everyone here is different, but we’re all the same by being at Northwest.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468