Missouri Western State University will establish a new tradition by holding its Spring Commencement ceremony outdoors at Spratt Memorial Stadium at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 10. Approximately 530 undergraduates and 32 graduate students will receive their degrees. The Missouri Western State University Alumni Association will hold a reception for the new graduates and their families following the ceremony just outside Spratt Stadium near Lot I.

Other commencement-related activities include an ROTC commissioning ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday, May 9 in the Kemper Recital Hall inside Spratt Hall; a nursing pinning ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Saturday in the Fulkerson Center; and a Physical Therapist Assistant pinning ceremony, also at 8:30 a.m. Saturday in the Kemper Recital Hall.

During the commencement ceremony, an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree will be presented to Carol Roever, professor emerita of business and the first dean of Missouri Western’s Craig School of Business. Derek Thompson, vocal music major from Omaha, Neb., will be the student speaker.

Gates to Spratt Stadium will open at 9:30 a.m. Seating is general admission, so guests are encouraged to arrive early. Guests are asked to be seated by 10:50 a.m. for the processional into the stadium. Every effort will be made to hold the ceremony, rain or shine. However, in the event inclement weather forces the ceremony to be cancelled, graduates and their families will be invited to a reception and photo opportunity inside the M.O. Looney Complex.

In years past, the Spring Commencement was divided into two ceremonies in the M.O. Looney Complex. Moving commencement to Spratt Stadium allows all graduates to participate in a single ceremony. It also allows for the introduction of several new traditions, including:

  • March to Commencement: Beginning at about 10:45, students will be led by the Griffon Corps, a musical escort, from the Griffon Indoor Sports Complex to the Spratt Stadium field. Students will pass the faculty who helped them achieve their degree as they take their seats on the field.
  • Phi Sigma Kappa cannon: A staple of Griffon football games, members of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity cheer on the Griffs with a resounding blast from “The General” after every home score. As our candidates for graduation turn their tassels and become alumni, The General will sound to celebrate their accomplishment.
  • Griffon for Luck: It is said that those who ask for the mighty Griffon’s protection will be watched over on their quest for education. When prospective students first come to Missouri Western, they are told they can ask for the Griffon’s protection by rubbing the head of a Griffon statue in the Office of Admissions. During commencement, the statue will be on the field so that students can leave the university as they came in; with one last request for protection and luck on their next quest.

Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive regional university providing a blend of traditional liberal arts and professional degree programs. The university offers student-centered, high quality instruction that focuses on experience-based learning, community service, and state-of-the-art technology. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit www.missouriwestern.edu.