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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Nov. 20, 2012

State agriculture director to address winter graduates at Northwest

Dr. Jon Hagler

Dr. Jon Hagler

Dr. Jon Hagler, Missouri’s director of agriculture, will address the University’s graduates and their families during its winter commencement ceremony Friday, Dec. 14.

“We are very pleased to have Dr. Hagler joining us for our winter commencement ceremony,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “Dr. Hagler is a well-known and vibrant state leader whose passion is bettering the human experience though agriculture. He knows and supports Northwest, and our graduating class will enjoy hearing how his experiences working for Missouri’s citizens translate across all academic fields.”

Since he was appointed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon in 2009, Hagler has worked to promote agriculture’s importance to all Missourians. He has traveled to every county in Missouri, speaking to thousands of farmers, agriculture leaders, consumers and youth on the significance of agriculture to families.

Through his leadership, the Missouri Department of Agriculture has launched initiatives such as Operation Bark Alert, the 10,000 Garden Challenge, the Focus on Missouri Photo Contest, Military Appreciation Day at the Missouri State Fair and the George Washington Carver Excellence Awards. He also re-launched the Livestock and Farm Protection Task Force and through cooperative efforts of state, county and local law enforcement officials, more than $2.5 million in stolen farm equipment and animals has been recovered and returned to owners.

Before becoming director of agriculture, Hagler worked for the Missouri University of Science & Technology and the California State Polytechnic University-Pomona, concentrating on corporate research and development, governmental affairs and international outreach. Hagler also served as the chief of staff to Missouri’s speaker of the house and the speaker pro tem and was a research analyst in the Missouri Senate.

More than 350 undergraduate students from Northwest's three colleges are expected to receive bachelor's degrees. More than 100 additional candidates are expected to receive master's degrees and specialist degrees through the University's graduate school.

The commencement ceremony begins at 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, in Bearcat Arena. Doors open to guests at noon. Shuttle service will be provided from the parking lot west of the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts to the circle drive in front of the Lamkin Activity Center. Due to the number of graduates, tickets are required for admission to the ceremony. Graduates will receive six tickets. To accommodate guests unable to attend the ceremony, Northwest will offer a live online stream of the ceremony, which will be accessible at   

Graduates along with their families and friends also are invited to interact with Northwest’s social media before, during and after the commencement ceremonies. Users may share their graduation memories on Twitter by using the hashtag #nw12, or submit graduation photos to Northwest’s Flickr feed. Photos can be taken with a mobile phone and sent to Submitted photos will appear immediately on Northwest’s Flickr page at

Candidates for graduation may pick up caps and gowns at the Student Services Center on the first floor of the Administration Building from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10, through Thursday, Dec. 13, or 8 to 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 14.

Complete details about commencement at Northwest are posted on the Senior Spot Web site,

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468