May 12, 2020
Contact: Liz McCune, 573-882-6212, mccunee@missouri.edu

COLUMBIA, Mo. – This weekend, May 15-16, 6,013 University of Missouri students will receive degrees and be part of the university’s virtual celebration for graduates. The new graduates will join the nearly 340,000 living Mizzou alumni working around the world.

This is a photo of MU's campus.

During graduation weekend, MU will award 6,628 degrees and host a virtual celebration. All May graduates will be invited back to campus for an in-person commencement event at a later date.

“I am so proud of these graduates — because of their accomplishments, because of their potential and because of their resilience,” UM System President and Interim MU Chancellor Mun Choi said. “These extraordinary students show us what it means to be Mizzou Made and Mizzou Strong, and our state and nation needs them now more than ever.”

Among this year’s graduates is Lauren Smith, who is receiving a law degree. Smith, originally from Chicago, is also working on a master’s degree in health administration from MU, which she plans to complete in December. She said Mizzou’s personality and sense of community attracted her to the university. As she begins to launch her career, Smith is excited to be a part of the Mizzou network of professionals.

“It means having a family. That I’m connected somewhere,” she said. “I had to be in Kansas City for an interview, and I walked in with a little Mizzou padfolio. Someone stopped me and was like, ‘M-I-Z!’”

Lucille Doll of Kansas City said this weekend’s commencement isn’t what she had pictured when she started her path to earn a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences, specializing in atmospheric science. But she’s thrilled to be here, regardless.

“Being Mizzou Made means that I have an amazing support system through my professors and through my friends and colleagues and classmates here at Mizzou that will help me wherever I go,” she said. “I have professors sending me job opportunities right now because they want the very best for us no matter what. They want to see us succeed.”

Doll said that while she won’t walk across a stage on campus this weekend, one of her professors is hosting a virtual event.

“He wants all of us to wear our cap and gowns, and he’s going to wear his gigantic PhD cap and gown. And he’s going to say each of our individual names so we can pretend to walk across the room,” said Doll, who worked at KOMU during her time at MU. “KOMU is doing a drive-by parade for all the seniors. My roommate is going to drive and everyone is encouraged to come sit in their cars in the parking lot and honk.”

During graduation weekend, MU will award nearly 6,630 degrees, including 4,595 bachelor’s degrees, 1,200 master’s degrees, 366 doctorates, 81 law degrees, 66 education specialist degrees, 114 veterinary medicine degrees and 104 medical degrees. Some students will receive more than one degree. More than 800 online students, who come from 44 states and Washington, D.C., and six countries, also will graduate this weekend. Graduates in distance degree programs range in age from 21-70.

All May graduates will be invited back to campus for an in-person commencement event at a later date.

“This celebration is intended to mark the traditional spring commencement weekend and to allow families and friends an opportunity to publicly recognize the accomplishments of their Mizzou graduates — it is not intended to replace the commencement ceremony,” Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Latha Ramchand said. “We look forward to celebrating the hard work of all our graduates. And, more important, we look forward to the contributions they will make to our state, nation and world.”

Schedule of events

Mizzou’s social media channels will deliver engagement opportunities throughout the virtual celebration on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Additional “event” details will be added as they become available online.

Friday, May 15

2-2:30 p.m. Official welcome from campus leaders. Both administration and student leader remarks. Video of the remarks will be posted on commencement.missouri.edu

3 p.m. Schools and colleges begin posting congratulatory messages and videos on social media.

3:30 p.m. Departments and programs join the celebration on social media.

4-8 p.m. Social media blitz continues along with virtual events and online celebrations hosted by some units and groups. Family, friends, faculty and staff are encouraged to share well wishes from their personal accounts and use the hashtag #MizzouMade.

Saturday, May 16

9 a.m.-2 p.m. Social media blitz continues along with virtual events and online celebrations hosted by some units and groups. Family, friends, faculty and staff are encouraged to share well wishes from their personal accounts and use the hashtag #MizzouMade.

Virtual celebration concludes.

2 p.m. Closing moment