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MU to Award Degrees at May 2007 Commencement Ceremonies

More than 5,000 students will receive degrees

May 4, 2007

Story Contact:  Christian Basi, 573-882-4430,

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The University of Missouri-Columbia will confer 5,401 degrees to 5,065 graduates during the 165th annual Spring Commencement Ceremonies Friday, May 11, through Sunday, May 13.

Honorary degrees will be presented to Carol Loomis, member of Fortune magazine's Board of Editors and an MU alumna, and Dr. Russell Shelden, former chief of anesthesiology and president of the medical staff at the Research Medical Center in Kansas City. Shelden also is an MU alumnus.

MU's schools and colleges will hold individual commencements, some with guest speakers. Speakers highlighting this year's ceremonies include:

  • Governor Matt Blunt, who will speak at the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources commencement ceremony at 12:30 p.m., Saturday, May 12, at the Hearnes Center.
  • U.S. Congressman Kenny Hulshof, who will speak at the School of Health Professions commencement ceremony at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, May 12, in Jesse Auditorium.
  • Dr. Perry A. Pugno, director of medical education at the American Academy of Family Physicians, who will speak at the School of Medicine commencement ceremony at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, May 12, in Jesse Auditorium.

At the 15 ceremonies, 3,675 students will receive bachelor's degrees, 1,442 students will receive graduate degrees and 284 students will receive professional degrees.

EDITOR'S NOTE: A detailed schedule of events, list of speakers, and biographical information on Loomis and Shelden are attached.

Schedule of May Commencement Ceremonies

University of Missouri-Columbia
May 11 to May 13

Friday, May 11
1 p.m.
College of Veterinary Medicine
Location: Jesse Auditorium
Speaker: Reuben Merideth, veterinary ophthalmologist at the Southern Arizona Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center.

4 p.m.
College of Education
Location: Mizzou Arena
Speakers: John DeArman, President, MU College of Education Alumni Board; Jill Janes, Superintendent of Hannibal School District; and Alicia Leimkuhler, graduating senior in secondary education biology

5 p.m.
Sinclair School of Nursing
Location: Jesse Auditorium
Speakers: Rachael Leigh Millsap, bachelor of science in nursing candidate; Catherine Janelle Friends, bachelor of science in nursing candidate representing the RN/BSN completion program; and Kimberley Denise Criss, doctorate candidate in nursing

6:30 p.m.
College of Business
Location: Hearnes Center
Speaker: Glenda D. Kemple, co-founder and principal of Quest Capital Management, Inc. and founder of Kemple Capital, LLC

8 p.m.
Graduate School
Location: Mizzou Arena Graduate Alumni Award for Achievement in Service to be presented to Dr. Carl E. Ferguson

Saturday, May 12
9 a.m.
Honors Convocation
Location: Francis Quadrangle
Speakers: Carol Loomis, honorary degree recipient; and Dr. Russell Shelden, honorary degree recipient

11:30 a.m.
School of Health Professions
Location: Jesse Auditorium
Speaker: U.S. Congressman Kenny Hulshof, 9th District

12:30 p.m.
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Location: Hearnes Center
Speaker: Governor Matt Blunt

1:30 p.m.
College of Human Environmental Sciences
Location: Mizzou Arena Speaker: Michele L. (Missy) Fish, MU alumna bachelor of science in home economics

2:30 p.m.
School of Medicine
Location: Jesse Auditorium
Speaker: Perry A. Pugno, director of medical education at the American Academy of Family Physicians

4:30 p.m.
School of Journalism
Location: Mizzou Arena
Speaker: John Riha, editorial director of Special Interest Media Division, Meredith Corporation

5:30 p.m.
College of Arts and Sciences
Location: Hearnes Center
Speaker: Mark Wilkins, vice president and private wealth adviser with Merrill Lynch

6:30 p.m.
School of Natural Resources
Location: Jesse Auditorium
Speaker: Bryan Busby, chief meteorologist at KMBC-TV in Kansas City

Sunday, May 13
1:30 p.m. ROTC Commissioning Ceremony
Location: Stotler Lounge, Memorial Union

1:30 p.m.
School of Law
Location: Jesse Auditorium
Speaker: Mike Middleton, deputy chancellor at the University of Missouri-Columbia

4:30 p.m.
College of Engineering
Location: Jesse Auditorium
Speaker: Gregg D. Scheller, president and CEO of Synergetics Inc

Honorary Degree Recipients Biographies

Carol J. Loomis
Carol Loomis started college at Drury University in 1947. While at Drury, she served as a member of Zeta Tau Alpha. In 1951 she graduated from the School of Journalism in news-editorial at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Since graduation Loomis has received the Missouri Honor Model and MU Alumni Association Faculty Alumni Award.

For two years after she graduated, Loomis worked for the Maytag Company in Newton, Iowa. Her career in business journalism started in 1954 as a research associate at Fortune magazine in New York City. Loomis quickly went beyond the work of the average journalist. She has written critically important articles during her career that have inspired her colleagues. Loomis wrote a touching piece called "Everything in History Was Against Them" about five Holocaust survivors who came to the U.S. with nothing and made fortunes.

She was promoted to assistant chief of research in 1958 and oversaw the production of FORTUNE 500. In 1962, she started writing an investing column and in 1968 began serving on Fortune's Board of Editors.

In 1976, Loomis was appointed to the Advisory Committee on Federal Consolidated Financial Statements by the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. During the 1980 Presidential Election, she was asked to be one of six panelists to question candidates Ronald Regan and John Anderson in a televised debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

Loomis has not forgotten her educational background. She has advised Dean Mills, dean of the School of Journalism, on fund-raising efforts. In addition, Fortune magazine established the Carol Loomis Fund for Excellence in Business Journalism at the School of Journalism to honor her exceptional work in the field.

MU is not the first to recognize Loomis' journalistic success. Loomis has received four Lifetime Achievement Awards from her peers including the Gerald M. Loeb Award in 1993, the Women's Economic Round Table's award in print journalism in 2000, the first Henry R. Luce Award by Time Inc. in 2001, and the Society of American Business Editors and Writer's Distinguished Achievement Award in 2006. She also has received the Hentz Award for Financial Journalism, the Newspaper Guild of New York Page One Award and a Doctor of Humane Letters from Drury College.

Dr. Russell Shelden
As a distinguished anesthesiologist and philanthropist, Russell Shelden has continued to support the University of Missouri-Columbia through his time and financial contributions. He is an outstanding doctor who has shared his expertise in anesthesia to both students and residents. Dr. Shelden's contributions have advanced medical education and research throughout the state of Missouri.

As a student at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Dr. Shelden received his bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1942 and his bachelor's degree in medical sciences in 1947. He completed his medical training at Washington University in 1949. He spent 32 years of his professional career at the Research Medical Center in Kansas City, where he served as both chief of anesthesiology and the president of the medical staff.

Some of his professional achievements include serving as president of the Kansas City Society and the Missouri Society of Anesthesiologists, the district director of the American Society of Anesthesiologists and an examiner for the American Board of Anesthesiology and American College of Anesthesiologists.

Dr. Shelden served in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves and attained the rank of colonel. He received three battle stars for his service during World War II and the Department of the Army's Meritorious Service Medal and Achievement Medal.

Dr. Shelden has continued to serve and contribute to MU long after his graduation day. Fifty years ago, he began volunteering his time to travel from Kansas City to Columbia to help the University start its anesthesia residency program. Dr. Shelden continued to teach as a clinical professor in this program for 25 years.

Besides his service to MU, Dr. Shelden has been a generous contributor to the School of Medicine. He has established the Student Anesthesiology Award, the Anesthesiology Faculty Enhancement Fund, The Russell D. Shelden Chair in Anesthesiology, and the Russell D. and Mary B. Shelden Chair in Anesthesiology. Dr. Shelden's gift to the School of Medicine at MU in 2005 established the Russell D. and Mary B. Shelden Clinical Simulation Center, where students learn to perform complex medical procedures on electronically controlled mannequins. Dr. Shelden also has supported the MU Athletic Department and created the Shelden Academic Resource Center for student athletes in 1998.

He has been honored with the Faculty-Alumni Award, the Columbia Campus Award for Distinguished Service to the University of Missouri System, the Distinguished Service Award from the MU Alumni Association, and the Medical Alumni Distinguished Service Award.