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A Northwest student celebrates his graduation as he crosses the stage during the University's commencement ceremonies Friday. (Photos by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

A Northwest student celebrates his graduation as he crosses the stage during the University's commencement ceremonies Friday. (Photos by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Dec. 13, 2019

Northwest celebrates perseverance, connections as 657 receive degrees


Northwest Missouri State University awarded 657 bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and education specialist certificates Friday during winter commencement ceremonies as graduates were challenged to show leadership.

It was a day for honoring the graduates’ perseverance and success but also for setting the stage for the next chapters of their lives, Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said.

“Think about that word commencement,” Jasinski told the graduates. “A chapter in your life culminates today, but it also represents what begins today for each and every one of you, and what you will accomplish in the years ahead. We can't wait to hear your stories as you connect back with your alma mater. We can’t wait to hear about how you’re bettering lives, bettering communities. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for allowing Northwest to help you set the stage for celebrate and launch the next chapter of your life.”

Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski addresses graduates and their families during Friday's commencement ceremonies inside Bearcat Arena.

Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski addresses graduates and their families during Friday's commencement ceremonies inside Bearcat Arena.

John Carr, Northwest’s 2020 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education, addressed the University’s graduates and their families during the commencement ceremonies. Carr also praised the graduates and the work they accomplished at Northwest.

“And when I say work, I don’t just mean you getting good grades and getting a degree,” Carr said. “I mean the impact that you have made on this world even before you graduated. Here, in the small town of Maryville, we have students that are rebranding companies, researching cures for cancer, creating emergency plans to make our communities safer, finding agriculture solutions to address our changing food needs, raising thousands of dollars for worthy causes, preserving our history as a people, and creating the next generation of cyber security experts, just to name a few. The impact you have made in your 20-something years on this earth is amazing.”

As an instructor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences and the coordinator of Northwest’s emergency and disaster management program, Carr also actively serves with multiple local and regional emergency management agencies.

John Carr, Northwest’s 2020 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education, addressed the University’s graduates and their families during the commencement ceremonies.

John Carr, Northwest’s 2020 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education, addressed the University’s graduates and their families during the commencement ceremonies.

During his remarks, he related some of his experiences in education and emergency management to share some of the lessons that have aided him. Among those lessons, he advised graduates to adapt and overcome challenges.

“As someone who studies disasters, I can tell you humans have survived droughts, plagues, volcanos, floods and everything imaginable,” Carr said. “Once the danger has passed, we pull ourselves out of the rubble, we go check on our neighbors and we start working toward recovery. We adapt to our new surroundings, and we overcome our challenges. I know it seems like the end of the world when you’re turned down for the first job you apply for, but things are going to get better. Get up, dust yourself off and keep going.”

Carr also encouraged graduates to find a mission and use their talents to help others in their communities.

“If your talent is caring, there are people out there that need you,” he said. “If your talent is working, you are needed. If your talent is simply listening, you are needed. Each of you has a unique talent, and there will always be a place for it.”

A graduate waves to a loved one in the crowd gathered to view Friday's commencement ceremonies at Northwest.

A graduate waves to a loved one in the crowd gathered to view Friday's commencement ceremonies at Northwest.

All told, the University awarded 402 bachelor’s degrees, 253 master’s degrees and two education specialist degrees during its two ceremonies Friday. The top graduate degrees were applied computer science and education leadership for K-12, and the most common undergraduate major was elementary education.

Geographically, 53 percent of the graduates were Missouri residents, while another 24 percent hailed from Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. The class included 101 international graduates representing the China, India, Japan, South Korea, Nepal, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.

Members of the graduating class ranged in age from 20 to 55.

Twenty-one percent of the class graduated with honors with 15 students earning the highest honor of summa cum laude, achieving a cumulative grade-point average of between 3.95 and 4.0. Forty-nine students earned magna cum laude honors with GPAs between 3.75 and 3.94, and 73 earned cum laude by completing with GPAs between 3.5 and 3.74.

 

About Northwest

Founded in 1905, Northwest is a coeducational, primarily residential four-year university that offers a broad range of undergraduate and selected graduate programs on its Maryville campus as well as its Northwest-Kansas City location at the Northland Innovation Center and through Northwest Online.

Northwest’s total enrollment this fall reached 7,104 students – the third-highest in the institution’s history – and it maintains a high retention rate of 76 percent. Additionally, its graduation rate is in the 90th percentile among its peers, with 71 percent of students graduating with a college degree. In addition, 97 percent of Northwest bachelor’s degree earners and 99 percent of master’s degree earners secure employment or continue their education within six months of graduation, according to the most recent data. Zippia, a career website, names Northwest the best college in Missouri for getting a job.

Northwest places a high emphasis on profession-based learning to help graduates get a jumpstart on their careers. Students have opportunities to build their résumés with experiences on campus in nearly every area of study, including the Horace Mann Laboratory SchoolNational Public Radio affiliate KXCV, the R.T. Wright Farm, Mozingo Outdoor Education Recreation Area or Knacktive, a student-driven integrated digital marketing communications agency.

Furthermore, its vibrant and diverse learning community offers more than 150 student organizations, and textbooks and a laptop are included in tuition, which is among the lowest in the nation, saving students an estimated $7,400 over four years. Northwest also offers 1,200 student employment positions, allowing students to build professional skills through its internationally benchmarked student employment program. 

Northwest also is home to the Missouri Arboretum and has been named one of the “50 Most Amazing University Botanical Gardens and Arboretums in the U.S.”

For more information about Northwest and its performance, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/facts/.


Media contact:

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