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Commencement Ceremony

fall 2023 Graduation

The 81st commencement ceremony at Missouri Southern State University will be held as a traditional ceremony:

Saturday, December 16, 2023
Leggett & Platt Athletic Center
10 a.m. Commencement Ceremony

  • College of Health, Life Sciences and Education
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business, Communication and Technology
  • Bachelor of General Studies

Commencement Day Livestream  Commencement Program


Commencement Ceremony Graduate Sign-Up

Degree applicants, confirm your participation in the December 16, 2023 commencement ceremony by signing up. Deadline to sign up: Monday, December 11th.

The signups are only for the degree candidates to help us provide adequate seating in the graduate section. Sign-up only for ONE slot.

There is more than enough seats for family and guests that we don’t need a count.

Graduate Sign-Up


Commencement Day Graduate Instructions

Commencement Day Instructions

CHECK-IN: Doors for graduates and guests will open at 8:30 a.m.
Graduates come wearing their neatly ironed regalia. Check-in at Young Gym.

GUESTS ATTENDANCE: There are no tickets required and no limit to number of guests per graduate.

LIVESTREAM: MSSU KGCS-TV will offer a live telecast and stream of the ceremonies. The link will be posted on the website on the Commencement Website the day prior. You may purchase a copy of the ceremony by contacting Maddy West at

PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS: GradImages will be taking professional pictures for purchase.

HEARING AND/OR MOBILE IMPAIRED SEAT RESERVATIONS: There will be reserved sections for Mobile and Hearing-Impaired graduates and guests.

Graduates who are hearing impaired or need special accommodations should contact Lori Musser, Coordinator of Disability Services at one week before the commencement event.

Commencement ushers will assist and seat mobile or hearing-impaired guests.

YOUNG GYM MINI-STAGE AND PHOTO BOOTH OFFERINGS (OPTIONAL): 8:30 - 9:15 a.m.Graduates may take pictures with faculty or individual pictures at a mini-stage set up in Young Gym. If you want a picture with a faculty member
on the mini-stage, it may be helpful to plan ahead and notify the faculty member. Also, Young Gym has multiple photo backdrops with MSSU
logos for personal pictures with family. Graduates will be limited to 3-5 minutes at the photo booths, so plan photo configurations with guests
ahead of time to maximize allotted time. Commencement staff will be present to assist.

The mini-stage and photo booths will be closed at 9:15 a.m. to prepare for the formation of the processional lines.

Photo booths will also be available at the end of the ceremony for graduates.




  1. Check-in starts at 8:30 a.m.
  2. Graduates will pick up their name card from the Check-in table (Station 1) in Young Gym. Please don’t fold or wrinkle your name card.
  3. Graduate Name Announcers will be at the Check-in station for those whose names may require assistance in correct pronunciation. If you want to ensure the correct pronunciation of your name, visit with the Name Announcer.
  4. Pick up and complete the Graduate Employment Survey at Station 2.
  5. Mirrors will be available in different locations in Young Gym for one final look before pictures and procession into Leggett & Platt.
  6. At 9:30 graduates will start forming processional lines organized by colleges separated by stanchions. Within each college section, graduates will form two lines and will process into Leggett & Platt in that formation. Graduates are not organized alphabetically. Look for the clearly marked signs indicating where to line up.
  7. The procession order into Leggett & Platt will be under the direction of the Commencement staff.
  8. Graduates should plan on processing without bags, purses, etc. Commencement programs will be on your seats in L&P.


  1. Mace bearer
  2. Platform party
  3. Faculty
  4. Lead Graduate Line-up assistants
  5. Gonfalon carrier for Master's graduates
  6. Masters' graduates
  7. Gonfalon carrier for College of Arts and Sciences
  8. Bacehlors graduates from the College of Arts and Sciences, Bachelor of General Studies, Bachelor of Applied Sciences
  9. Gonfalon carrier for College of Business, Communication, and Technology 
  10. Bachelor's graduates from the College of Business, Communication, and Technology
  11. Gonfalon carrier for College of Health, Life Sciences & Education
  12. Bachelor's graduates from the College of Health, Life Sciences & Education
  13. All Associates only graduates


  1. You will process into L&P in the two-line formation with the Gonfalon carriers ahead of each college, through the center aisle in Leggett and
    Platt to the graduate seating section. There will be two columns of seating with 10 seats per row. You will sit to the left or right accordingly.
    Commencement staff will assist you, counting off 10 graduates for each row.
  2. When at your seat, remain standing till all graduates are at their seats and follow the President’s instructions.

    Diploma Receiving Time:

  3. When it is time to receive your diplomas, Commencement staff will give directions on   when to move to the platform. When instructed, take your name card with you. (Please note that you will only be receiving diploma covers with information. Actual diplomas will be mailed out after grades are posted, degree requirements verified, and degrees conferred).
  4. At the platform, the Name announcer will collect your name card and announce your name and any academic honors noted before you move up the platform.
  5. When your name is announced, walk up the platform, receive your diploma cover from a member of the Board of Governors, shake hands with the President and GradImages photographer will take a picture. (If you prefer to not shake any hands, don’t extend your hand. That will be the cue you don’t want to shake hands.) 
  6. After your picture with the President, continue to the bottom of the ramp to have your individual graduation picture taken by GradImages.
  7. Masters graduates only: When called, walk up the ramp with your hood draped on your right hand. At the top of the ramp, you will be met by two Deans who will perform the hooding ceremony. The Dean of your college will be in-front and will have you bend a little to drape the hood on you. The assisting Dean will ensure the hood is properly draped on your back. After hooding, shake hands with the Dean of the college, receive your diploma cover, and shake hands with the President while GradImages takes a picture. From there move to the bottom of the ramp to have your individual graduation picture taken by GradImages.
  8. After taking your picture at the GradImages station, move to your seat guided by Commencement staff.

    Recession Time:

  9. At the end of the ceremony, you will exit orderly, the same way you came, under the direction of Commencement staff.
  10. The platform party and faculty will form a “spirit tunnel” at the far end of Leggett and Platt for graduates to walk through. Commencement staff will be on hand to assist you.
  11. You will exit through the spirit tunnel back into Young Gym.
  12. The mini-stage and photo booths will reopen for your use till 12:30 p.m. 

Latin Honors Eligible Recipients:

In recognition of superior scholarships, the University awards honors to associate degree and baccalaureate degree graduates. Honors listed below are not earned until courses are completed, graded and posted on the student’s permanent record. Courses below the 100 level are excluded from this calculation.

Graduation Honors: Associate Degree
 - The student must have completed a minimum one half of the hours required for the degree in residence at Missouri Southern State University. The cumulative GPA required to receive:

First Honors 3.90-4.00
Second Honors 3.80-3.89
Third Honors 3.70-3.79

Latin Honors: Baccalaureate Degree - Eligibility for any one of the following three honors requires the candidate to study the junior and senior years at Missouri Southern and earn a minimum of 45 hours of MSSU credits updated fall 2023:
Summa Cum Laude 3.90-4.00
Magna Cum Laude 3.80-3.89
Cum Laude 3.70-3.79

Commencement Ceremony Participation - Eligible students may be recognized and/or included in the Commencement ceremony based on the last completed semester cumulative GPA. The actual honors though will be determined at the end of the semester when final grades have been posted and the cumulative GPA meets the required criteria. The earned honors will be posted on the student’s transcript.

optional purchase of professionally taken commencement photographs:

For your convenience, arrangements have been made with GradImages for a professional photographer to record the moment you are awarded your diploma.
  • You will receive a passport-size, full-color proof in the mail approximately one week after the ceremony. There is no obligation to purchase, and you will have the option of ordering several enlargement packages at very reasonable prices.
  • GradImages/GradTrak guarantees complete satisfaction with your photograph or you will receive a full refund, no questions asked.

GradImages contact information:
Toll free number: 800-261-2576


Questions or Concerns

Graduates/Students with questions should contact the Office of the Registrar at or call 417-625-9389 or 417-625-9514.

Please note when MSSU is closed, the Office of the Registrar will be closed and will not be able to respond to inquiries.