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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Birmingham City University Director of Learning Experience Dr. Stuart Brand gives the commencement address Northwest graduates during one of the University's two ceremonies. A record 708 students earned degrees from Northwest this spring.

Birmingham City University Director of Learning Experience Dr. Stuart Brand gives the commencement address Northwest graduates during one of the University's two ceremonies. A record 708 students earned degrees from Northwest this spring. (Photos by Darren Whitley/University Relations)

May 5, 2013

Northwest awards diplomas to record 708 during spring commencement ceremonies

Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski poses for a photo with a Northwest degree recipient.

Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski poses for a photo with a Northwest degree recipient.

A Northwest master's degree recipient gives a thumbs up after being hooded by Dr. Greg Haddock, dean of the graduate school.

A Northwest master's degree recipient gives a thumbs up after being hooded by Dr. Greg Haddock, dean of the graduate school.

Northwest bestowed on Brand an honorary degree, doctor of pedagogy, in recognition of his “enduring commitment to student success, for his stellar leadership and for his unwavering dedication to higher education.”

Northwest bestowed on Brand an honorary degree, doctor of pedagogy, in recognition of his “enduring commitment to student success, for his stellar leadership and for his unwavering dedication to higher education.”

A record number of individuals received degrees Saturday, May 4, during Northwest Missouri State University's spring commencement exercises.

During two ceremonies, Northwest conferred 549 undergraduate degrees, 153 graduate degrees and six specialist degrees for a total of 708.

The top undergraduate majors of the spring class were business management, elementary education, psychology and sociology, and agricultural business. The top graduate degree was applied consumer science.

Northwest’s spring graduates represented seven countries, including India, Korea, Nepal, People’s Republic of China, Russia and Sweden. The spring graduates included 457 Missouri residents as well as 93 graduates from Iowa, 57 from Nebraska and 23 from Kansas.

Additionally, 405 were female and 302 were male. The graduates ranged in age from 19 to 58.

Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski encouraged the graduates to celebrate their pasts but focus on their futures.

“We teach Bearcats to ensure you lead with integrity, treat others with respect, have sound reasoning and provide facts as you address and solve issues and problems of all types,” Jasinski said. “Northwest’s role is to provide you with a high quality education and engage vigorously in your success. Your role is to continue to engage in your learning environment, take advantage of your opportunities and prepare to better the communities in which you will live, work and play.”

Northwest honored degree recipients from the graduate school and 243 degree recipients from the Melvin D. and Valorie G. Booth College of Business and Professional Studies during a 10 a.m. ceremony. During a 2 p.m. ceremony, 225 degree recipients from the College of Arts and Sciences and 243 from the College of Education and Human Services were honored.

Birmingham City University Director of Learning Experience Dr. Stuart Brand was the featured speaker at both ceremonies and encouraged graduates to continue broadening their perspectives, think outside the box and to recall supportive relationships, using those as model for treating others. Brand also told graduates not to forget their roots.

“Of course you should live expansively and have great experiences, but never ever forget those roots,” Brand said. “Loved ones will have supported you through your studies, shared your anxieties and kept you on track sometimes. Roots are important. Trees fall over without them. Never lose them and, as you move on to exciting and fulfilling roles, make brave choices, live life to the full, but always take time to remember those roots. Northwest Missouri State is a part of that, and it’s a very special place.”

Northwest forged a partnership with Brand and Birmingham City University, which is located in the United Kingdom, in January 2010, to share insights about Northwest’s student employment program and collaborate on student engagement processes. As the two universities continue to collaborate and research ways to involve students, Northwest on Saturday bestowed on Brand an honorary degree, doctor of pedagogy, in recognition of his “enduring commitment to student success, for his stellar leadership and for his unwavering dedication to higher education.”

The University’s afternoon commencement ceremony also included the commissioning of ROTC cadets Benjamin Dean and Taylor Overmiller as officers in the United States Army. Dean, of Blue Springs, received his Bachelor of Science degree in geographic information science, and Overmiller, of Hastings, Neb., received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology.  

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 6,800 students hailing from throughout the United States and 29 countries. Northwest boasts a 57 percent graduation rate, which is 19 percent higher than the national average. According to the most recent data, about 95 percent of Northwest graduates find employment or continue their education within six months of graduation.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

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