December commencement to award more than 2,000 degrees

MU alumni Robert Loggia and William Trogdon will receive degrees and speak at the ceremon
Megan Hager / Graphic Designer

More than 2,100 degrees will be distributed to 1,969 students in the Hearnes Center and Jesse Auditorium beginning Dec. 16 during the annual fall commencement ceremonies, according to a news release.

Students completing undergraduate, graduate and professional studies will earn degrees.

“The University of Missouri is honored to have graduates who excel in every field of study,” Vice Provost for Enrollment Ann Korschgen said in the release. “We know our graduates will continue their success from the classroom to the workplace and wherever life takes them.”

Actor Robert Loggia and writer William Trogdon, both MU alumni, will be speaking at the Honors Ceremony and receiving honorary degrees from university officials, Paula Thies, assistant registrar at the Office of the University Registrar, said.

These degrees are awarded to individuals who are outstanding in their fields, she said. Previous recipients include congressmen, authors, writers, artists, engineers, comedians and public figures.

“There’s been a lot of diversity in the background of people that we have awarded these degrees to,” MU spokesman Christian Basi said.

In the past, between one and five nominees have received the award during commencement ceremonies. An honorary degree committee makes a recommendation to the Chancellor Brady Deaton, who then chooses the recipients.

Thies said several other speakers will also be in attendance, as arranged by each college. Speakers include Mike Kruse of the Missouri Department of Conservation at the School of Natural Resources commencement, Greg Garrison of the United States Operations at Pricewaterhouse Coopers at the School of Business commencement and Randy Cox of The Oregonian at the School of Journalism commencement.

“They pick people that are well renowned in their field to speak at their commencement ceremony,” Thies said.

Cox, the director of visual journalism at The Oregonian, is a 1975 alumnus with a Bachelor of Journalism. He will be speaking about how his life in journalism has led him in different directions he found valuable.

“I feel greatly honored and look forward to the opportunity,” he said.

Each individual college funds its own commencement ceremony, working in conjunction with the Office of the University Registrar, which reserves the facilities, makes floral arrangements and prints programs.

“I think graduations are a very great time for those graduates to share a special moment with their family and friends,” Thies said. “We try to make it special here at the university.”

Of the 2,107 degrees received, there will be 1,473 bachelor’s degrees, 480 master’s degrees, 143 doctorates, three law degrees and eight educational specialist degrees, according to the news release.

“It’s a wonderful time to witness the celebrations of many years of hard work and look forward to seeing many of the students going out and making a mark in their profession,” Basi said.

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