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May 3, 2014
Northwest Missouri State University celebrated the achievements today of 664 students who received diplomas from the University during its spring commencement exercises.
During two ceremonies, Northwest conferred 535 undergraduate degrees, 121 graduate degrees and eight specialist in education degrees.
The top undergraduate degrees of the spring class were business management, psychology, elementary education and agricultural business. The top graduate degree was applied consumer science.
Northwest’s spring graduates represented nine countries, including Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Japan, Nepal, People’s Republic of China and Taiwan. The spring graduates included 417 Missouri residents as well as 84 graduates from Iowa, 50 from Nebraska and 20 from Kansas.
Additionally, 58 percent were female. The graduates ranged in age from 20 to 60.
Northwest honored degree recipients from the Graduate College and 252 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, 221 degree recipients from the College of Arts and Sciences and 195 from the College of Education and Human Services were honored.
During his remarks, Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski encouraged the graduates to celebrate their pasts but focus on their futures.
“No matter the road you traveled, I encourage you to celebrate the past, but be future-focused,” Jasinski said. “It no doubt will take perseverance, collaboration, citizenship and hard work – all the elements we value at Northwest Missouri State University.”
Jasinski added, “I implore you to use your education and keep learning and growing. Go out and be part of the solution. Stay positive and focus forward by helping others, helping your communities and being servant leaders.”
Sen. Brad Lager – a Maryville native, 1997 Northwest alumnus and representative of Missouri’s 12th Senatorial District – presented the day’s commencement address. Lager congratulated the graduates and reflected on his family’s passion for the University while offering advice for the future.
“Your experiences and academic achievements here are the cornerstone for a strong foundation for your future,” he said. “No matter what opportunities may be opened through the completion of your degree, your success in the future will come solely from the choices you make. Opportunities and success are never given. Rather they are earned through the same determination and dedication that has led you to where you are today. Your ability to take advantage of the opportunities before you and to achieve success will be dependent on the goals you set for yourself and your willingness to work hard to achieve those goals.”
Lager challenged the graduates to embrace the responsibilities of public service and set goals that lead to prosperity for future generations.
“We do not and will not all agree on the exact path to prosperity, but our ability and willingness to disagree, persevere and ultimately find mutual resolution is what makes our form of government and our country great,” Lager said. “Your service will be selfless and fought with the same pitfalls and challenges that you face in your private life. You will certainly be challenged in your service, but you must always remember that the commitment to bettering our way of life is what has made our communities, our state and our nation the greatest in the world.”
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 6,500 students hailing from throughout the United States and 30 countries. Northwest boasts a 57 percent graduation rate, which is 19 percent higher than the national average. According to the most recent data, about 97.4 percent of Northwest graduates find employment or continue their education within six months of graduation.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468