UMKC Awards 2,600 Degrees at May 2024 Commencement

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and Leigh Anne Taylor Knight of the DeBruce Foundation were the keynote speakers
Graduates cheer and clap as streamers come down from the ceiling after commencement ceremony

More than 2,600 degrees were conferred on Sunday, May 12 during the University of Missouri-Kansas City Spring Commencement ceremonies.

Five graduates from School of Medicine pose for a selfie wearing their regalia

"Some of you came to UMKC knowing exactly where you were headed," said UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal. "Some of you might have had no idea what you wanted to do. But all of you have chosen your own individual path and arrived here your way. You have overcome challenges and celebrated triumphs that have shaped you into the person you are today."

Chancellor Agrawal speaking on stage at Commencement

There were two Commencement ceremonies. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas was the keynote speaker for the first ceremony, telling graduates to be confident and strive to do their best.

Mayor Quinton Lucas speaks on stage at Commencement
"Each and everyone of us should strive in some way to be famously excellent in whatever it is that we have to do ahead," Lucas said. "As you leave this arena today, know that we support you, that we believe in you."

A graduate on stage, smiling as she is hooded for a doctorate degree

Leigh Anne Taylor Knight, an alumna of the UMKC School of Education, Social Work and Psychological Sciences and UMKC Trustee, is executive director and chief operating officer of the DeBruce Foundation. She delivered the keynote address for the second ceremony.

Leigh Anne Taylor Knight speaks at a podium at Commencement

“Your achievements today not only represent your hardworking and dedication, but also the unwavering support of those surrounding you today.,” Taylor Knight said. “I encourage you to find your purpose through curiosity, courage and kindness.”

Graduates are silhouetted against blue curtains, waiting to walk across the stage

Following the ceremonies, graduates flooded the T-Mobile Center to take photos and celebrate with their loved ones.

A graduate hugs their family member after the commencement ceremony

Commencement took place on Mother's Day. A few graduates celebrated the occasion by walking across the stage to receive their diploma with their children, several of them carrying them in their arms.

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