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numbers guru AND Navy vet

| Judy Berthiaume

When Ezra Biesterveld watched his sister, Elisia, walk across the Zorn Arena stage during her commencement ceremony 10 years ago, he knew he wanted to literally follow in her footsteps. He knew that day that he belonged at UW-Eau Claire. But when he graduated from high school, he decided to put college on hold and instead enlisted in the U.S. Navy, an experience that allowed him to learn new skills and travel the world. His four years as an aviation mechanic in the Navy helped him gain the confidence he needed to pursue his academic dreams. After all, if he could learn to change an engine on a helicopter by himself, he knew he could accomplish just about anything in life. So when his stint in the Navy came to an end, the Tilden native came home and quickly enrolled at UW-Eau Claire. Always interested in numbers, he chose finance as his major. Finding success in college, he soon added a second major, this time accounting. While he says his wife and fellow Blugold, Stacy, played a big role in his college success, Ezra also credits UW-Eau Claire for creating a sense of family among the members of its campus community. Like family, Blugolds are always there to support one another as they carve a path that will lead to their future successes, and that support was invaluable to him throughout his college years, he says. Ezra’s journey now will take him to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, where he soon will begin his professional career as an auditor. As a Blugold, Ezra Biesterveld — a numbers guru AND Navy vet — has fulfilled his academic dreams and built a promising future … and that’s pretty powerful!