Aug. 3, 2012
Northwest awards diplomas to more than 240 summer graduates
More than 240 individuals received degrees Thursday, Aug. 2, during Northwest Missouri State University's summer commencement exercise.
Northwest conferred 128 undergraduate degrees, 106 graduate degrees and seven specialist in education degrees.
The top undergraduate majors of the class included business management, corporate recreation and wellness, and nursing. The top graduate degree was the master of business administration.
Northwest's summer graduates represented four countries, including India, China and Morocco. They included 161 Missouri residents.
Additionally, 128 were female and 113 were male, and graduates ranged in age from 21 to 64.
“You all have accomplished so much,” Northwest President Dr. Jasinski told the graduates. “Let’s keep in mind, this ceremony is called a commencement because we celebrate not only a chapter in your life that will culminate today, but also what is to begin today and what you will accomplish in the years ahead.”
David Davenport, the chief executive officer of Second Harvest Community Food Bank in St. Joseph delivered the University’s commencement address. While Second Harvest distributes emergency food and offers programs serving more than 13,000 people each week throughout the organization’s 19-county service territory, Davenport is a veteran of the social sector. He previously spent 11 years in international service with the YMCA, was executive director of End Hunger Network in Houston and chief executive officer of the Capital Area Food Bank in Austin, Texas.
In his address, Davenport reflected on his work in the social sector as well as the impacts of his experience as a bilateral lung transplant survivor. Davenport asked the graduates to consider George Eliot’s words, “What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?” and embrace the opportunities for success lying in front of them.
“Class of 2012, make sure you have an image in your mind of the pathway to success you wish to take,” Davenport said. “If that path brings joy and inspiration, I encourage you to embrace it. I also want to challenge you to be special. You see, success can come and go, but being special in the lives of others lasts forever. Seek to be special, and I promise whatever your definition of success it will come true.”
Northwest is a coeducational, primarily residential four-year university offering a broad range of undergraduate and selected graduate programs. Founded in 1905, the University has evolved into a vibrant and diverse learning community with an enrollment of more than 7,200 students hailing from throughout the United States and 33 countries. Northwest boasts a 58 percent graduation rate, which is 13 percent higher than the national average. According to the most recent data, about 93 percent of Northwest graduates find employment or continue their education within six months of graduation.
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