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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

2010 winter commencement

At left, Northwest Missouri State President Dr. John Jasinski gives a high five to a graduate during the University’s winter commencement ceremony. At right, Northwest Regent Rachelle Brown, of Platte City, embraces Diana Cockrill as she and her husband, Pat, accept a posthumous degree from Northwest for their daughter, Abby. (Photos by Taylor Allan/University Advancement)

Dec. 17, 2010

More than 400 receive degrees, certification from Northwest

Sheri Spader

Sheri Spader, an accomplished business woman and advocate of agriculture, education and health, delivered the University's commencement address.

MARYVILLE, Mo. - Northwest Missouri State University, during its winter commencement ceremony today, awarded 356 bachelor's degrees, 75 master's degrees and seven education specialist degrees.

The total number of graduates, 438, was the highest for a winter commencement ceremony at the University in six years.

The top five majors in this winter's class were elementary education, business management, applied computer science, physical education, and psychology and sociology.

The graduates consisted of 246 females and 192 males ranging in age from 20 to 54 years old. While 317 graduates are Missouri residents, the class represents 14 other states and eight countries consisting of Brazil, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Nigeria, China, Serbia and Taiwan.

Sheri Spader, an accomplished business woman and advocate of agriculture, education and health, delivered the University's commencement address. Relaying the ancient story of a young man who fought for his country using a bag of stones as his weapon, Spader encouraged the graduates to rely on not only their degrees but perseverance, attitude, work habits and faith as they start their careers.

"Right now today you have reached that point where you have your degree, but your learning is not done," Spader said. "Your skills and repertoire are up to you from now on."

Spader continued: "Age and experience is often thought about in terms of years, but really it's the moments that define us. We stay mostly the same as we go through life. Then suddenly we have a turning point and we grow up, and we have another turning point and we grow up. This is one for you."

In an emotional tribute, the University awarded a posthumous degree in education to Abby Cockrill, of Platte City, who would have received her bachelor's degree during the ceremony. Cockrill was one week into her student-teaching Aug. 22 when she died as the result of a car crash. Cockrill's parents accepted the degree as the graduates, members of the University community and guests gave a standing ovation.

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