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Celebrating 1,000 New Grads During Mid-Year Commencement

Class of 2019 graduates honored
Female student receives her degree onstage during mid-year commencement.

Nearly 1,000 students received their degrees during University of Missouri-Kansas City mid-year Commencement exercises on Saturday, Dec. 14.

Festivities began with the College of Arts and Sciences Graduation with Distinction Luncheon where alumna Liz Cook (M.F.A. ’14) offered advice for the 70 students graduating with honors.

“You may not have all the answers right now, but you have the skills to find them,” said Cook, who works at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and as a writer for The Pitch.

Liz Cook with Chancellor Agrawal and fellow alumna Anne Kniggendorf at the Graduation with Distinction Luncheon.
Liz Cook, pictured left, with Chancellor Agrawal and fellow College of Arts and Sciences alumna, Anne Kniggendorf,  pictured right.

Among the students graduating with recognition were the Dean of Students 2019 Honor Recipients. Faculty and staff nominate students for their academic excellence, leadership and service. Ten Roos were honored this fall.

  • Shahodat Azimova, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
  • Shelby Chesbro, School of Medicine
  • Jordann Dhuse, School of Medicine
  • Lindsey Gard, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
  • Fiona Isiavwe, Bloch School of Management
  • Leah Israel, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
  • Anna Lillig, School of Nursing and Health Studies
  • Zach Randall, School of Medicine
  • Marcella Riley, School of Medicine
  • Landon Rohowetz, School of Medicine
Student crowd surfing outside Swinney Center after graduation.
Student crowd surfs in celebration outside Swinney Center after graduation.

On Saturday, Swinney Center was packed with students and their families celebrating the milestone of graduation. Chancellor Agrawal congratulated students saying, “You are ready to take on the world.”

During the Henry W. Bloch School of Management ceremony, alumnus Mike Plunkett (B.S. ’91) addressed students. Plunkett is the co-founder and COO of PayIt, an award-winning digital government platform that simplifies doing business with state, local and federal governments. As students move forward in life, he encouraged them to:

  • Dream: Get in the habit of visualizing attainable goals on a daily basis.
  • Work: The absolutely necessary step to making your dreams a reality.
  • Hope: Have the determination to be positive in life, even when things aren’t going well.
  • Give: Enrich your life by giving to others.
Bloch alumnus Mike Plunkett offers advice to the class of 2019.
Alumnus Mike Plunkett offers advice to the class of 2019.

Student speaker Ian Njoroge encouraged his fellow graduates saying, “Believe that you will find opportunities. Look for opportunities and you’ll see that opportunities are looking for you.”


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