Business Economics

Lake Area Tech graduate Tess Holien unveils campus sculpture

Lake Area Technical College unveiled a statue on Tuesday conceived and created by graduate Tessa Holien.

Holien’s foray into Lake Area was unorthodox. During her junior year she had fulfilled her academic requirements to graduate from Watertown High School, so she enrolled in Lake Area.

“I was looking for other options for classes to take,” she said. “Welding sounded interesting to me, and I was fortunate enough to have people work with me to be a full-time student at LATC. So I was a full-time student there my senior year (of high school), so I graduated from high school and Lake Area at the same time.”

The 19-year-old Holien will be a sophomore at South Dakota State University in Brookings this fall, where she will be majoring in business economics and minoring in design.

Tessa Holien prepares for the unveiling of her statue at Lakes Area Technical College

The sculpture, which features two hands rising from a base, started as a small design Holien had made in class. She said teachers saw her original sculpture and she was then commissioned to make a large sculpture for the school.

“I started making it in May,” Holien said. “It took a couple weeks, but I worked on it together in the shop at Lake Area.”