Dakota Adventist Academy graduated 12 students on Sunday, May 29, including seniors from Indonesia, Australia, South Korea, Canada and Thailand. Three were four-year seniors. Six received Hero Awards for donating blood at least three times since they turned 16. One graduated with an enriched diploma in Visual Arts and two were part of the National Honor Society.
However, one who had been attending camp meeting, alumni weekends and special occasions for 73 years, finally graduated.
Ivan Sievers’ last year at then Sheyenne River Academy was the 1941–42 school year, and because of WWII he missed his senior year. His military service was a farm deferment to return home to work on the farm and produce extra food for the war effort.
The belated graduation was intended to be a surprise for Sievers, but his wife had to convince him he needed to go to graduation. He was not expecting a cap, gown, tassel and diploma, however. Sievers is known in his community for being able to fabricate anything. His life is one of dedication, volunteering and donating to Christian education. His words of encouragement to the seniors were, “You know the verse, ‘Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might,’ so I admonish the Class of 2016 to keep busy. That’s one way that time goes fast.”
Sievers, who turned 93 years young in June said, “Now I can start college. Maybe I’ll graduate before I’m 100.”