University Letter

UND's faculty and staff newsletter

Chuck Klosterman to speak at UND Commencement ceremonies

The University of North Dakota recently announced that Chuck Klosterman, a prominent journalist, author, native North Dakotan and UND alum, will deliver the graduation address during general commencement exercises in May.

Klosterman, a native of Wyndmere, N.D., is a 1994 graduate who has written several bestselling books, as well as columns and cultural commentary for several national publications.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a minor in English from UND.

Klosterman will speak at the doctoral and master’s degrees ceremony and the undergraduate ceremony on Saturday, May 11, in the Alerus Center. He will also be given an honorary degree from UND.

First emerging as a rock music journalist and critic in the early 2000s, Klosterman also has written extensively on topics of popular culture and sports across 12 books and hundreds of columns.

“We look forward to hosting yet another distinguished alum for our upcoming Commencement ceremonies,” UND President Andrew Armacost said. “Chuck Klosterman has long captivated readers with his trademark flair, humor and insights, and it all started at UND, writing for the Dakota Student. We are delighted that he’s likely to share all three of those traits when he talks at Commencement with our newest class of graduates.”

About Chuck Klosterman

Chuck Klosterman is a journalist, bestselling author and 1994 graduate of the University of North Dakota.

Growing up in Wyndmere, N.D., Klosterman majored in journalism with a minor in English at UND while writing for the student newspaper, The Dakota Student. He also wrote as an intern for the Grand Forks Herald while enrolled.

He went on to work as an entertainment writer for The Forum in Fargo, then later as a reporter and critic for the Akron Beacon Journal. It was during this time that Klosterman wrote “Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota,” which was published in 2001 to critical acclaim.

Klosterman’s success led him to New York City, where he worked as a senior writer and columnist for Spin magazine. He has since had a successful career as a journalist and author, writing for publications such as GQ, Esquire, The New York Times, The Guardian, Billboard, The Washington Post and ESPN. Klosterman also served as the Ethicist for The New York Times Magazine for three years.

Klosterman cites his upbringing in North Dakota and experiences at UND as influential in his development as a writer and critic. His 2008 novel, “Downtown Owl,” is about the experience of growing up in rural North Dakota in the 1980s.

His works of nonfiction include “Fargo Rock City,” “Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs,” “Killing Yourself to Live,” “Chuck Klosterman IV,” “Eating the Dinosaur,” “I Wear the Black Hat,” “But What If We’re Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past,” “Chuck Klosterman X” and “The Nineties.”

His novels are “Downtown Owl” and “The Visible Man.” He also wrote a collection of short stories published in 2019, titled “Raised in Captivity.”