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May 18, 2018

Missouri Academy to graduate final class May 26

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Northwest Missouri State University’s Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing will celebrate its final class and legacy of providing an alternative academic experience for high-achieving high school juniors and seniors during its commencement ceremony at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 26, at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts.

The ceremony will feature remarks by Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski and Missouri Academy Dean Dr. Cleo Samudzi as well as reflections from a representative of each of the Missouri Academy’s previous graduating classes.

The Missouri Academy – a two-year accelerated, early-entrance-to-college residential program for academically-talented students that is located on the campus of Northwest campus – is ending its operations at the conclusion of the academic year. Launched in 2000, the Missouri Academy was designed for students with career aspirations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The 17th class to graduate from the Missouri Academy, known as the Dreamers, is comprised of 46 students. The class includes 25 international students representing China and South Korea.

Thirty-two of the graduates have completed their coursework with grade-point averages between 3.5 and 4.0. Among those, 11 students earned GPAs between 3.95 and 4.0.

Thirty-five of the graduates are advancing to a college or university in pursuit of STEM-related degrees, while other graduates plan to pursue studies in the areas of accounting, finance, history, psychology and linguistics. The graduates are attending a list of universities that includes the University of Kansas, Purdue University, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Southern California.

Individuals interested in attending the commencement ceremony should contact Susan Smith, administrative secretary at the Missouri Academy, at 660.562.1960 or

In addition to the Saturday commencement ceremony, the Missouri Academy Class of 2018 will attend a graduation banquet with their families and Missouri Academy staff at 6 p.m. Friday, May 25, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom.

Northwest announced its decision to close the Missouri Academy in March 2017, citing several factors that include a shifting financial landscape for higher education institutions and Northwest’s need to reprioritize and reallocate resources for mission-critical priorities.

Each cohort to come through the Missouri Academy’s doors received a unique name, and the Missouri Academy celebrated its first graduating class, the Pathfinders, in the spring of 2002. Beginning in 2007, the Missouri Academy began accepting students from outside Missouri and abroad.

Missouri Academy students attended classes with Northwest’s traditional students, and professors held the same expectations for Academy students as they do for undergraduates. At the conclusion of the two year-program, graduates of the Missouri Academy receive an Associate of Science degree and a high school diploma, simultaneously.

The Missouri Academy was one of only eight publicly funded, residential early-entrance-to-college programs in the United States, and it was the only program of its kind in Missouri. Graduates have gone on to complete their bachelor’s degrees and further their education at an array of institutions throughout the country including Duke, Harvard, Stanford and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Missouri Academy alumni work in career fields such as architecture, chemistry, computer science, education, engineering, environmental biology, law and physics.


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215