Congratulations, graduates!

Commencement 2010: Winding down the year with pomp and circumstance

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
-Nelson Mandela

The 2010 Fall Semester at UMKC wrapped up on Friday, Dec. 17, 2010 with Mid-Year Commencement ceremonies at the Swinney Recreation Center on the Volker Campus.

Commencement ceremonies began at 1:00 p.m. with processions for the Conservatory of Music and Dance, Bloch School, School of Biological Sciences, School of Computing and Engineering, School of Education, School of Law, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy and School of Graduate Studies.

The Commencement ceremony for the College of Arts and Sciences followed at 4:00 p.m. The Commencement speaker for the 2010 mid-year ceremonies was Jackson County Legislator and UMKC Alumna Theresa Garza Ruiz.

For additional Commencement information, visit

Quick Five: Theresa Garza Ruiz, Commencement Speaker, Jackson County Legislator and UMKC Alumna

1. When did you graduate from UMKC?

I graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

2. What advice would you give to graduates?

I would like to tell them that determination and hard work will always pay off. I personally feel you can accomplish anything as long as you are willing to work for it.

3. What are some of your favorite UMKC memories?

By far, the best memories I had were with friends and professors in the Criminal Justice program. I still communicate with them on a regular basis and truly enjoy the relationships that came out of my time there.

4. What UMKC organizations were you involved in?

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get involved in campus organizations because I was busy juggling my studies with my professional and personal responsibilities. I would have liked to have been involved, because I think it fosters school spirit and makes for a better college experience.

5. How have you remained involved with UMKC as an alumna? 

I currently sit on the Advisory Board for the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life, which has an office in the UMKC Institute for Human Development. In addition, I regularly attend various campus functions and programs. There are so many opportunities to stay involved after graduation, and I would definitely encourage everyone to do so.

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"There are so many opportunities to stay involved after graduation, and I would definitely encourage everyone to do so."

Theresa Garza Ruiz
Jackson County Legislator
UMKC Alumna

A traditional element of UMKC's commencement ceremonies is the ringing of the Bounder Bells -- the carillon is located in the tower of UMKC's Swinney Recreation Center (pictured above).