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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Northwest conferred 248 bachelor's, master's and specialist degrees during its annual summer commencement exercise. (Photos by Darren Whitley/University Relations)

Northwest conferred 248 bachelor's, master's and specialist degrees during its annual summer commencement exercise. (Photos by Darren Whitley/University Relations)

Aug. 2, 2013

Northwest awards diplomas to 248 summer graduates

Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski greets a graduate during the University's summer commencement ceremony.

Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski greets a graduate during the University's summer commencement ceremony.

David Gressly, assistant secretary general for the United Nations, delivered the commencement address.

David Gressly, assistant secretary general for the United Nations, delivered the commencement address.

Kay Medsker Dolph, a 1967 Northwest graduate, drew a standing ovation as she crossed the commencement stage -- something she didn't do immediately after earning her degree.

Kay Medsker Dolph, a 1967 Northwest graduate, drew a standing ovation as she crossed the commencement stage -- something she didn't do immediately after earning her degree.

Two hundred forty-eight individuals received degrees Thursday, Aug. 1, during Northwest Missouri State University's summer commencement exercise.

Northwest conferred 142 undergraduate degrees, 95 graduate degrees and 11 specialist in education degrees.

The top undergraduate major of the class was business management, and the top graduate degree was the master of business administration.

Northwest's summer graduates represented six countries, including India, Japan, People’s Republic of China, South Africa and the United Kingdom. They included 174 Missouri residents. Graduates of the class ranged in age from 21 to 69.

Northwest President Dr. Jasinski congratulated the graduates during his remarks, acknowledging their perseverance and success.

“You have learned to lead with integrity, treat others with respect, have sound reasoning and provide facts as you address and solve issues of all types,” Jasinski told the graduates. “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.

Jasinski also encouraged the graduates to be future-focused and apply skills in perseverance, collaboration, citizenship and hard work to be successful.

David Gressly, assistant secretary general for the United Nations, echoed those sentiments as he delivered the University’s commencement address. Gressly, a graduate of Nodaway-Holt High School in Graham, attended Northwest briefly, earning credits toward his bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1978. Today, he is the acting head of mission for the U.N. multi-dimensional integrated stabilization mission in Mali.

Reflecting on his experiences as a U.N. representative and negotiator, Gressly encouraged graduates to choose a path they will enjoy, continue learning and lead by example.

“Knowledge and experience will lead to success for you, but don’t forget the next generation,” Gressly said. “Be the example that gives them an opportunity to surpass you.”

The ceremony also was highlighted by the commencement walk of Northwest graduate Kay Medsker Dolph, 81, who did not participate in the University’s commencement ceremony when she earned her degree in education in 1967. Dolph, a retired teacher, drew a standing ovation from the Bearcat Arena crowd as she crossed the stage with students from the College of Education and Human Services.   

Northwest also bid farewell to Dr. Richard Fulton, a professor of political science, who served as commencement ceremony grand marshal since 2003 and is retiring from Northwest after a 40 years of service.

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, 97.4 percent of Northwest graduates find employment or continue their education within six months of graduation.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

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