Kocher Named Commencement Senior Speaker

Augustana senior Sarah Kocher will deliver her address, “Search On," at the 2016 Commencement.

Augustana senior Sarah Kocher will deliver her address, “Search On," at the commencement exercises recognizing the AU Class of 2016 on Saturday, May 21, at the Sioux Falls Arena.

Augustana senior Sarah Kocher, an English and journalism double major from Lincoln, Nebraska, will serve as the senior speaker for the 2016 commencement exercises, set for Saturday, May 21, at the Sioux Falls Arena.

Kocher will deliver her address, “Search On,” before 338 graduates who will participate in the commencement ceremony. An additional 87 students will graduate in absentia.

Her remarks will encourage her classmates to “embrace questions as a way to consider the future, make decisions and pursue opportunities,” Kocher said.

A member of Civitas, Augustana’s honors program, Kocher also serves as editor of The Mirror, the University’s weekly student newspaper – an experience she said affirmed her decision to pursue a career in journalism.

“It’s really applied learning. It’s like working for a weekly newspaper. It’s been cool to write in different ways and edit in different ways. It’s built and strengthened a lot of positive relationships. It’s been nothing but a good experience,” she said.

Following graduation, this summer Kocher will complete a communications internship at a Lutheran Bible camp near Omaha, Nebraska. In August, she’ll travel to Europe for a year-long position with Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) before pursuing positions in the journalism field.

As a student at Augustana, Kocher studied abroad in Scotland as a Distinguished Scholar and in India over J-Term. Most recently, she worked with a fellow student to produce a short documentary film on homelessness in Sioux Falls. The film recently won the Sioux Empire Film Festival's Jury Award for Social Impact. She also works as a Viking Advisor for East Hall, is a tutor in the Writing Center, and is a member of the Visual Arts Club.

Looking back on her time at Augustana, Kocher said she’s gained “an appreciation for how much more there is out there that I don’t know,” she said. “The professors and relationships I’ve built here have cultivated in me the desire to go out and learn more.”

She is the daughter of Mike and Jodi Kocher.