VANCOUVER, Wash. – Vocalist and graduating senior Amanda Goebel sang “The Star Spangled Banner” for Washington State University Vancouver’s 2011 commencement ceremony Saturday after dedicating it to her husband.

Lance Cpl. Jonathan Goebel is a Marine preparing for deployment to Afghanistan. He was unable to attend the ceremony due to military training in California. In his absence, Goebel will dedicate to him and all the men and women serving our country. 

“I am so proud of his commitment, am honored to be his wife and feel that dedicating the national anthem to him is one way I can show my appreciation. He is truly my hero. Once he gets back, I’m looking forward to a normal married life,” said Goebel.

She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She plans to work in one of the three elementary schools on her husband’s military base and later would like to earn her credentials to work in special education.

“Earning my degree at WSU Vancouver has been a great experience. It was an easy transition from Clark College. All of my classes were laid out for me, and my teachers were wonderful. I feel truly prepared to enter the job market,” said Goebel. 

A self-taught singer, Goebel has sung with choirs in Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kansas and Washington and has been invited to sing in Disney World, Slovakia and Korea. The WSU Vancouver commencement ceremony was her largest audience to date.

“When I sing I’m at my happiest,” she said. “I think it’s a God-given talent. My husband loves my singing and is very proud of me for performing at commencement.”