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Missouri Southern Awards 523 Degrees Saturday

Published: May 11, 2024 | Categories: Press Release
Missouri Southern Awards 523 Degrees Saturday

Missouri Southern Awards 523 Degrees Saturday
35 Earn Graduate Degrees; 15 International Students Graduate

Missouri Southern State University conferred degrees upon more than 500 students Saturday during two ceremonies inside the university’s Leggett and Platt Athletic Center. In all, Missouri Southern celebrated the accomplishments of 523 students who earned degrees. 

In addition to hundreds of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the colleges of Health, Life Science, and Education; Arts and Sciences; and Business, Communications and Technology; Missouri Southern also awarded more than 30 graduate degrees for Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Science in Education, and Master of Science in Management.

“Graduates, in congratulating you today, we also recognize that you have overcome significant challenges on your journey,” Missouri Southern President Dean Van Galen told them Saturday. “Many of you have balanced your academic lives with commitments such as one or more jobs, supporting your families, participating in campus or community organizations, or in intercollegiate athletics, military service, or other worthwhile endeavors. Many of you are the first in your family to obtain a college degree. All this to say that we are extraordinarily proud of every one of you.”Among the graduates Saturday was Ashley Dean, a mathematics major from Carl Junction who was selected as the Outstanding Graduate by Missouri Southern’s Alumni Association. Dean was recognized for helping other MSSU students by working in the university’s Student Success Center and serving as a private tutor for area middle and high school students while earning her degree. She plans to pursue her PhD in Mathematics and ultimately become a math professor.   

Degrees were also awarded to 15 international students who represented 12 countries, all of whom traveled great distances to study at Missouri Southern in Joplin. Countries represented included Bolivia, British Virgin Islands, Cook Island, El Salvador, Germany, India, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Alissa Owsley, a 2000 Missouri Southern alumna and co-founder of LifeWork Talent Consulting, was the commencement speaker. The festivities also included celebrating the legacies of 35 “Golden Graduates” who graduated from Missouri Southern in 1974 or in years prior and returned to campus for Saturday’s ceremonies.