Romano Named Commencement Senior Speaker

Katie Romano will serve as the senior speaker for Augustana's 2017 Commencement

Augustana senior Katie Romano, a biology major from Cañon City, Colorado, will serve as the senior speaker for the 2017 commencement exercises, set for Saturday, May 20, at the Sioux Falls Arena.

Romano will deliver her address, “Finding Fluency,” before 362 graduates who will participate in the commencement ceremony. An additional 129 students will graduate in absentia.

Her remarks will encourage her classmates to “use the fluency they’ve developed at Augustana to bridge divides, build community and teach others,” Romano said.

A member of Civitas, the University’s honors program, Romano has studied abroad four times while at Augustana. She studied in London and Greece as a Distinguished Scholar in 2014; taught English and science in India in January 2015; spent the spring semester of 2016 in Costa Rica studying and volunteering in the national pediatric hospital; and explored tropical biology and environmental philosophy in Guatemala and Belize during January 2017.

As a student at Augustana, Romano has served as personnel and development committee chair for the Augustana Student Association, member of the Augiethon executive board, admission ambassador, teaching assistant for the biology department and peer navigator for Augie Access. She also assists the International Programs Office by being a resource for students who are interested in studying abroad. Last fall, she was named the Viking Days homecoming queen.

Following graduation, this summer Romano will work at the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls. In August, she’ll travel to Rwanda for a year-long position with the ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program before pursuing a doctoral degree program in occupational therapy.

Looking back on her time at Augustana, Romano said she will "truly miss the people who have helped me grow academically and personally and those who have filled the past four years with opportunities, challenges and, most of all, laughter.

“It’s amazing how Augustana has become so much more than an academic institution for the acquisition of knowledge," she said.

"Upon this campus, I have been introduced to some of the most intelligent, kind and passionate souls. My peers and professors have become a second family and the encouragement and tenacity that I have learned from them is something I can take with me wherever I go."

— Katie Romano
AU Class of 2017

She is the daughter of Rick and Becky Romano.


Kelly Sprecher
Director of Media Relations
605.274.5526