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1,969 Graduates to Receive Degrees During MU’s Fall Commencement Ceremonies

University officials will award two honorary degrees to prestigious nominees

Dec. 06, 2011

Story Contact(s):
Christian Basi,, 573-882-4430

By Jerett Rion

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Beginning Friday, Dec. 16 and continuing through Saturday, Dec. 17, nearly 2,000 students will celebrate a milestone during Fall commencement exercises at the University of Missouri. University officials also will honor actor Robert Loggia and writer William Trogdon at the Honors Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 17. MU’s ROTC program will hold a commissioning ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 18.

“The University of Missouri is honored to have graduates who excel in every field of study,” said Ann Korschgen, vice provost for enrollment at MU. “We know our graduates will continue their success from the classroom to the workplace and wherever life takes them.”

During commencement weekend, 1,969 students will receive 2,107 degrees, including 1,473 bachelor’s degrees, 480 master’s degrees, 143 doctorates, 3 law degrees and 8 educational specialist degrees. (Some students receive more than one degree.)

Officials from each school and college hold separate ceremonies for commencement, and many invite notable speakers to address the graduates. Managing Partner of U.S. Operations at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Greg Garrison, will speak at the School of Business commencement at 2 p.m., Friday, December 16 at the Hearnes Center.

Other speakers at this year’s commencement ceremonies include:

  • Randy Cox, Director of Visual Journalism at The Oregonian, will speak at the School of Journalism commencement at 6 p.m., Friday, December 16 in Jesse Auditorium.
  • Brett Begemann, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Monsanto, will speak at the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources commencement at 12:30 p.m., Saturday, December 17 at the Hearnes Center.
  • Mike Kruse, resource science division chief at the Missouri Department of Conservation, will speak at the School of Natural Resources commencement at 5 p.m., Saturday, December 17 in Jesse Auditorium

NOTE: A detailed schedule of events and biographical information of honorary degree recipients are attached. For more information on the commencement ceremonies and Columbia accommodations, please visit


MU Fall Commencement
Schedule of Events

NOTE: Students in the School of Social Work will participate in the College of Human Environmental Sciences ceremony. The School of Natural Resources in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources will hold a separate commencement ceremony.

Friday, Dec. 16

Sinclair School of Nursing
1 p.m.
Jesse Auditorium, Jesse Hall

Robert J. Trulaske Sr. College of Business
2 p.m.
Greg Garrison, Managing Partner, US Operations, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LLP

College of Human Environmental Sciences
3:30 p.m.
Jesse Auditorium, Jesse Hall
Ruth Tofle, Chair, MU Department of Architectural Studies

School of Journalism
6 p.m.
Jesse Auditorium, Jesse Hall
Alumnus Speaker:
Randy Cox, Director of Visual Journalism at The Oregonian.

Saturday, Dec. 17

Honors Ceremony
8:30 a.m.
Jesse Auditorium, Jesse Hall
Honorary degree recipients Robert Loggia and William Trogdon.

School of Health Professions
11:30 a.m.
Jesse Auditorium, Jesse Hall
Bill Bondeson, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of Philosophy at MU

College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
12:30 p.m.
Brett Begemann, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, Monsanto

College of Engineering
2 p.m.
Jesse Auditorium, Jesse Hall
Jim Green, President and Chief Executive Officer of Analogic Corporation

College of Arts & Science
3:30 p.m.

Soren Larsen, associate professor of geography at MU.

School of Natural Resources
5 p.m.
Jesse Auditorium, Jesse Hall
Mike Kruse, resource science division chief, Missouri Department of Conservation

Graduate School
6:30 p.m.
George Justice, dean of the MU Graduate School

Sunday, Dec. 18

ROTC Commissioning of Officers
Stotler Lounge
Navy Captain Michael Vizcarra, ROTC Commanding Officer

Robert Loggia Biography

Actor Robert Loggia has been featured in numerous Hollywood blockbusters and Broadway shows throughout his lifetime.

Loggia, a 1951 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, served in the Armed Forces upon graduation. After his service, Loggia went to New York City to attend the Stella Adler Studio of Acting where he became one of Adler’s most talented students.

Shortly after his studies at the Studio of Acting, Loggia landed his first important role in The Man with the Golden Arm in 1955. He continued his success on Broadway with roles in Toys in the Attic and The Boom Boom Room. One year later, in 1956, Loggia landed his first role in a movie, Somebody Up There Likes Me.

Since then, Loggia has been nominated for numerous Emmy Awards and was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his role as the private detective in Jagged Edge. He has been featured in multiple television shows such as Magnum P.I., The Sopranos, Frasier, Touched by an Angel and Malcolm in the Middle, for which he received an Emmy nomination. Loggia has been featured in more than 100 movies including Scarface, Gladiator, Big, Necessary Roughness and Independence Day.

Loggia is described as a major supporting actor on stage, film and television. He is often referred to as “one of the most respected and admired actors of our generation.” Loggia is highly regarded for his forceful supporting roles which he plays with personal style, intensity, integrity and power.

In addition to Loggia’s success on the stage and big screen, he is a gifted producer and director.

Robert and his wife, Audrey, reside in Los Angeles.

William Trogdon Biography

William Trogdon, best known as William Least Heat-Moon in the literary community, is a world renowned travel author.

Trogdon, who received bachelor’s, masters and doctorate degrees in English from the University of Missouri, released his first book, “Blue Highways,” in 1982.  In “Blue Highways,” Trogdon entices his readers with a personal travel account of a cross-country trip in his van. Trogdon describes the various people he met and places he traveled with humor. His witty view of American culture kept the book on top of the New York Times best-seller list for 34 weeks.

After the success of “Blue Highways,” Trogdon released another travel novel in 1991, “PrairyErth (A Deep Map): An Epic History of the Tallgrass Prairie Country.” In this book, Trogdon, a Kansas City native, offers an in-depth map and history of Chase County, Kan.

The success of his travel novels continued throughout his career with the release of two more books, “River Horse: The Logbook of a Boat Across America” in 1999 and “Quoz: An American Mosey” in 2008. In “River Horse,” Trogdon describes his four-month journey across America using only rivers and streams. Trogdon’s most recently published novel, “Quoz: An American Mosey,” reveals a series of short road trips across the Midwest.

In addition to his three travel novels, Trogdon released “Columbus in the Americas” in 2002, a brief history of Christopher Columbus’ journeys.

Trogdon, who is compared to writers such as Mark Twain and Ralph Waldo Emerson, resides in Columbia, Mo. with his wife, Jan.