This weekend, Dec. 15–17, the University of Missouri and the entire Mizzou community celebrates a new class of graduates and the new levels of personal and academic achievement they have reached.

Among them are nearly 200 graduates who are receiving degrees that they have earned online.

Kathryn Chval, Dean of the MU College of EducationKathryn Chval, Dean of the MU College of Education

Kathryn Chval, Dean of the MU College of Education, reminds the graduates and their supporters, “These degrees are not just awarded. You earned them.”

Chval’s remarks are part of MU’s online commencement celebration of the class of 2017. The online commencement site also includes a guestbook and a stream of best wishes for online graduates from users on social media.

The site is a tribute to the perseverance of the new graduates. “Some of you have experienced incredible hurdles through this journey,” Chval says. “You have amazed us with your intelligence, leadership, resilience, and persistence. Please remember this sense of pride as you enter the next phase of your life.”

Nearly 200 Tigers from more than a dozen MU schools and colleges have earned their degrees or certificates online this semester.  

Among them, 121 are receiving master’s degrees; nine, educational specialist degrees; 12, doctorates; and 41, bachelor’s degrees.

Members of Mizzou’s online class of ’17 live throughout the United States and as far away as Sweden. They range in age from 21 to 64.

Mizzou Online Director Kim Siegenthaler shares Chval’s praise of the new graduates and encourages them to thank all the people who supported them throughout their programs.

“We’re extremely proud of this graduating class,” Siegenthaler said. “We’re also tipping our hats to the graduates’ families and friends who lent their support. No one goes through MU alone.”

Siegenthaler also thanks the MU instructors, staff members and others who have helped the graduates find ways to balance course work with the demands of their careers and families.

“Helping online students succeed is what we’re all about at Mizzou Online,” she said. “We feel very fortunate that we get to celebrate so many achievements year after year.”

Are you earning your #OnlineStripes this weekend? Go to to congratulate your classmates. Graduates’ friends and families can leave messages in the online guest book.

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