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MSSU Commends Honors Graduates with Academic Achievement Recognition Ceremony

In recognition of the graduating students in the Honors Program at Missouri Southern State University, an award ceremony celebrating students’ academic achievements took place on Wednesday, April 24th at 7:00 p.m. in Corley Auditorium. This was the forty-eighth annual academic achievement recognition ceremony that has taken place in the history of MSSU.


The program started off with a warm welcome by Dr. Dean Van Galen, the president, University President. Following this, Dr. Lisa Toms, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, gave an introduction speech in which she commended the honors graduates for their various achievements, even in the difficult times during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Those of you being honored tonight have taken opportunities to learn, to grow, and to prove that you are leaders. It wasn’t easy, and leadership never is. Whether you choose to begin your career, to seek further education, graduate professional school, or take up public or charitable service, you will continue to adapt, be optimistic, persevere, and be a leader”.


Following the introduction speech, Honors graduates of both Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 were called to the stage individually. Next, departmental awards were given to students in the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Health, Life Sciences, and Education, and the College of Business, Technology, and Communication. Departmental Awards included recognition in various areas, such as Art, Chemistry, Criminal Justice, Education, Accounting, and Mathematics.


After students received departmental awards, special awards were presented. The Melanie Cox Memorial Award for the Outstanding Honors Student was awarded to Eryn Wagoner a Biology major who was congratulated “as an inquisitive scholar; a thinker who is always friendly and serves her fellow students in terms of her mentorship and as an example of an involved student scholar on campus.”


The Spencer Bartlett Respect Award was presented to four graduates. First place was awarded to Abigale Hoelscher, a Health Science and Dental Hygiene major, and Hayden Kisling, a Health Promotion and Wellness major. Second place was awarded to Brenna Moya, a Biology major, and Matthew McCaulley, a Criminal Justice major. The Outstanding Student Award was presented to Ashley Dean. Maya Dally and Maya Greenquist were honorable mentions. Lastly, the Robert J. Greef Award was presented to Grace Johnson.


The ceremony concluded with refreshments, and graduates took pictures with friends and families in celebration of their accomplishments at Missouri Southern State University.

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