The “Pomp and Circumstance” of the Missouri Valley College Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies included seniors and faculty in regalia, proud parents, a TV host, a new ability to watch the graduation through video-streaming, and a scorching heat.
The Baccalaureate service was held in the morning of Saturday, May 5, at the Gregg-Mitchell Field, with the Rev. Pam Sebastian, MVC chaplain, serving as speaker.
Academic honors, with designated cords to add to graduation attire, were presented to scholar seniors by MVC President Bonnie Humphrey, Chief Academic Officer Sharon Weiser, and Registrar Marsha Lashley.
Honor cord recipients of the Class of 2012 were Mayuka Abe Buckley, Tessa Belcher, Ashley Boyd, Ariel Cantrell, Brendan Carter, Megan Case, Linda Dial, Amelia Fizer, Justin Hendricks, Janie Jungermann, Melissa Kuenz, Jessica Manjarrez, Amanda Marquette, Patrica Middleton, Nikola Nonkovic, Kathleen Patrick, Kaylee Peery, Camille Rand, Charlique Rolle, Amanda Scaggs, Laura Scott, Amanda Turner, Devon Wade, and Brittney Woody.
The prayer of invocation was led by graduating senior Charlique Rolle and the scripture reading was conducted by graduating senior Devon Wade. A hymn was sung by Diana Malan, associate professor of Music and Theatre.
Following lunch in the cafeteria, seniors gathered in the quad in front of the Tech Center for the class photograph. Photos also were taken of the faculty and of the Commencement guests, administration officials, and members of the Board of Trustees in attendance.
Because of the extreme heat, MVC had organized its first video-streaming of the Commencement ceremony that was aired in the Eckilson-Mabee Theater for visitors who didn’t want to sit in the bleachers because of the sun.
As some visitors gathered in the theater, others from as far away as Brazil, England, and other countries filled the bleachers at Gregg-Mitchell Field to watch the processional of graduating students and faculty members in their caps and gowns.
The 123rd Commencement ceremony featured guest speaker Mickey Burns, an alum from the Class of 1969 and the current TV host for “Profiles” television interview show in New York city. Burns is the founder and president of Quest Media Entertainment company. (Check out the earlier story at the Delta Online about Burns’ career.)
Burns said he remembered his graduation day at MVC 43 years ago and his arrival at the college in 1965. “I was the first in my family to attend college,” he said.
Burns said that with his return to MVC, his father who didn’t go to college came to mind. He said his dad and millions of other men and women went overseas during World War II to fight two powerful military forces on six out of seven continents, with 50 million people perishing in the conflict. “We are all the inheritors of all they fought for and died for,” Burns said.
Because of the GI Bill, many veterans were able to attend college, he said, adding that “My father never made it to college, but he made sure I did.”
Burns, having been in the media industry for 25 years in New York, told the graduates, “Go where the game is played and find a way to get in.”
Never assume anything, he said, adding that he learned that lesson from an interview one time with football quarterback Joe Montana, when he and his workers made assumption mistakes. Another lesson learned as a broadcaster, he said, is to be prepared. He learned to be prepared, do extensive research, and have plenty of questions for his interviews. “If I needed 10 minutes on air, I prepared for 20 minutes. Prepare…and you’ll be fine.”
Burns said, “One thing you learn from experience is that you never graduate” and that you are always learning and improving skills. Identify your gift, never stop learning, and never take “no” for an answer, he said.
As Burns started his broadcast career when he was age 40, he said some people thought he was too old. All you need is one “yes” to move forward on your dreams, he said.
He quoted a businessman who said that the more successful you become, the more obstacles you experience. He noted that of the 100 biggest companies on the Dow index 100 years ago, only one (General Electric) has survived. He explained how Kodak, which recently filed for bankruptcy, is a good example of facing obstacles. In 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong used a Kodak camera to take a photo from the moon. The company was the pioneer in digital photography but then failed to adapt to the technology it started. “Expect obstacles in life and business,” he said. Always have a back-up plan, know your history, and don’t be afraid of change, he said.
Burns said money is good but it is not necessarily the definition of happiness. “Pursue your passion and it will be a bonus every day.”
Burns said, “The desire to be famous in this country without talent is all around us.” He quoted civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. who said, “Not everybody can be famous, but everyone can be great, because greatness is determined by your service.”
Don’t live for yourself alone, Burns said. “To be happy and move forward, you have to give something back.” He concluded, “Go out and make the world a better place.”
Following a welcome from President Humphrey, greetings were provided by Gary Ford, chairman of the MVC Board of Trustees, and Tom Hayob, president of the Alumni Advisory Board.
CAO Weiser then presented the Charles L. Bacon Distinguished Service Awards to graduates Patricia “Patsy” Middleton
(Accounting) and Devon Wade (Mass Communication). Middleton also spoke as the representative for the Class of 2012.
Seniors were called, one by one, as degrees were conferred. Parents and other visitors cheered enthusiastically from the filled bleachers.
According to the program, the following seniors were granted degrees: Bachelor of Arts—Adam Albach, Sylvester Bassey, Tessa Belcher, Ashley Boyd, Alexandra Branstetter, Mayuka Abe Buckley, Courtney Burns, Brett Caldwell, Jeff Cott, Cherrie Davis, Jordan Dickson, Clarence Franklin Jr., Patricia Freeman, Karla Gonzalez, Andrew Gregory, Brian Gruver, Arionne Hampton, Toray Henry, Kayla Howard, Lawrence Hunt, Polly Hunter, Salvador Lara, Ashley Larsen, John Lawlor, Desirea Loveland, Sarah Oltmer, Jordan Parrack, Demeka Pugh, Anthony Quilici Jr., Jonathan Reeves, Charlique Rolle, Kloee Shipp, Ashley Sipala, Allison Student, Jacob Uhrig, Hana Urabe, Stephen Valdez Jr., Devon Wade, Loretta Williams, and Tara Youngblood. Bachelor of Fine Arts—Sarah Christopherson, Amanda Marquette, Roderick Owusu-Andrews, and Randy Ritter. Bachelor of Science—Jesse Alter, Kyle Anderson, Zinna Anyanwuh, Leah Bartlett, Darren Bell, Aaron Boell, Bryant Boyd, Jesse Boyd, Donald “D.W.” Bradshaw, Ceara Brown, Derek Brown, Adria Borras Budesca, Shane Burr, Tershelle Burrows, Ariel Cantrell, Daniel Cardoso, Christopher Carr, John Carrell, Eric Carrillo, Brendan Carter, James Earl Carter, Justin Carter, Megan Case, Kasey Chism, Emilia Choto, Jason Clemens, Rashona Colbert, Wade Crain, Will Crain, Steven Crane, David Daleen, Jeremy Dawson, James DeVault III, Linda Dial, Zebediah Dintelman, Juliana Doyle, Davaile Durham, Travis Ewart, Courtney Felgar, Geread Filippi, Amelia Fizer, David Flores Mejia, Marissa Foreman, Haley Fowler, Pedro Franco, Dana Fricker, Patti George, Caleb Gibbens, Charlie Gibbs, Derek Gillilan, Brian
Graham, Eric Graham, Victor Grant, Gita Grava, Daniel Gray, Elanqua Griffin, Miranda Groth, Leslie Ann Grothoff, Jacob Guernsey, Saira Guzman, Brittany Hamann, Paul Hansen III, Rachel Harrison, Ryan Havicon, Amanda Hempelmann, Benjamin Hempelmann, Justin Hendricks, Courtney Henley, Tristan Hill, William Brock Hill, Krystal Hogue, Justin Homan, Chelsea House, Jesse Hulett, Joseph Hulsey, Spencer Hython, Dustin Jordan, Janie Jungermann, Trey Kampeter, Fay Keller, Chelsea Kerns, Ethan Killian, Kathryn Kirby, Tracie Kohn, Jacqueline Kragel, Melissa Kuenz, Melissa Latimer, Kenneth Lewis III, Ryan Lewis, Adam Maher, Jessica Manjarrez, Lauren McDonald, Theresa McGuire, Lauren McWilliams, Danielle Medina, Alejandro Medrano, Timothy Merrill, Cassandra Michelin, Patricia Middleton, Erik Moses, Sean Moss, Nickola Nonkovic, Daniel O’Brien, Miguel Ocana Pena, Kathleen Patrick, Shayla Pearman, Kaylee Peery, Nicholas Perez, Brandon Perkins, Jamie Pointer, Kayode Popoola, Stephanie Putnam, Chelsea Quiring, Camille Rand, Rommel Reed, Keith Roberts III, Terrance Roberts III, Jenna Robertson, Jason Rolle, Ashley Russell, Yuka Sakakibara, Amanda Scaggs, Laura Scott, Jeremy Seitzinger, Nathan Shaver, Matthew Shull, Reginald Singletary Jr., Andrew Spratt, Brittany Stallworth, Alyssa Stock, Lauren Struxness, Andre Taylor, Ashley Thomas, Alexander Thompson, Nicole Toalson, Amanda Turner, Jacqueline Valli, Garrett Wadlington, Robert Walkup, Ebone Watson, Jared Wentzel, Shateah West, Amanda Whited, Chad Williams, Leigh Wilson, Kiri Wise, and Brittney Woody. Associate of Arts—Kristen Bowling, Kyle Dryer, and Felicia Hamilton.
LINDENWOOD MASTER’S GRADUATION
In the Lindenwood master’s degree graduation ceremony on Monday, May 7, in the Eckilson-Mabee Theatre, the following graduate students received their degrees: Education Administration—Ashley Bredehoeft, Amy Carney, Kristine Escujuri, Julie Hieronymus, Suzanne Horine, Natalie Reische, Colin Smith, Meghan Tichenor, and Lindsay Tworek. Management—Alana Bentz,Tanner Fennewald, Fantasia Newsome, Stacy Walker, and Brady Wilson.