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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Northwest expects to confer more than 550 degrees when it hosts its winter commencement ceremonies Dec. 16.

Northwest expects to confer more than 550 degrees when it hosts its winter commencement ceremonies Dec. 16. (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

Nov. 22, 2016

State education commissioner to address graduates Dec. 16

Dr. Margie Vandeven

Dr. Margie Vandeven

Dr. Margie Vandeven, commissioner of education for the state of Missouri, will address Northwest graduates and their families during its winter commencement ceremonies Friday, Dec. 16.

“We are so pleased to have Dr. Vandeven joining us for our winter commencement ceremonies,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “She is student-centric and champions high expectations, and she has been a champion for education during a career spanning three decades. We look forward to the insights she has to share with Bearcat Nation.”

Vandeven assumed her role as Missouri’s sixth commissioner of education Jan. 1, 2015. 

During 10 previous years with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, she served as a supervisor of the Missouri School Improvement Program, director of school improvement and accreditation, director of accountability data and accreditation, assistant commissioner for the Office of Quality Schools and most recently as deputy commissioner of learning services.

Vandeven began her education career in 1990 as a communication arts teacher in O’Fallon, Missouri. From 1995 to 2002, she taught high school English and served as an administrator in Maryland, before returning to Missouri as an English teacher and administrator.

Prior to her appointment as commissioner, Vandeven assisted with the planning and implementation of the Department’s Top 10 by 20 initiative, which calls for Missouri to be one of the top 10 states for education by 2020. Vandeven is passionate about ensuring all Missouri students are prepared for post-secondary success after leaving the PK-12 system.

A native of Missouri, Vandeven earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Missouri State University and a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision from Loyola College in Maryland. She received a doctorate of philosophy in educational leadership from Saint Louis University. She and her husband, David, reside in Foristell.

Northwest will host commencement ceremonies at 10 a.m. for master’s, education specialist and doctoral degrees, and at 2 p.m. for bachelor’s degree candidates. Both ceremonies are in Bearcat Arena.

Doors will open to guests one hour prior to each ceremony. Shuttle services will be provided from parking lots 62 & 63 to the Lamkin Activity Center circle drive.

More than 250 students are expected to receive master’s or specialist degrees through the University’s graduate school. More than 300 undergraduate students from Northwest’s academic college and professional schools are expected to receive bachelor’s degrees.

No tickets are necessary to attend either ceremony. To accommodate guests who cannot attend, Northwest will offer a live online stream of the ceremonies 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 #NWGrad, 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 on the first floor of the Administration Building from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12, through Thursday, Dec. 15, or one hour before each ceremony in the Student Recreation Center.

Complete details about commencement at Northwest are posted at

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