Commencement 2021 | Celebrating 1,128 online graduates

Graduation cap on top of laptop.

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This weekend, May 14-16, we celebrate a new class of graduates during virtual and in-person commencement ceremonies. Graduates from the four University of Missouri System universities —  the University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou), the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) and the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL)  — will earn their degrees and commemorate their accomplishments. 

Among them are 1,128 graduates who earned their degrees online, ranging in age from 20 to 82. These graduates live in 44 states and 7 countries — some as far away as Singapore, Germany and Nigeria.

Elaine Kratz of Tucson, Arizona, a captain in the Army Reserves, earned her master of science in engineering management from Missouri S&T — 100% online. She started taking post-graduate courses in 2009 out of curiosity, and encourages other prospective graduate students to experiment with their course load. “Find what fits and get it done,” she said.

Travis Inman earned his doctor of veterinary medicine from Mizzou through an on-campus program, but took some courses online – and has felt supported every step of the way. “I feel like the support I’ve gotten as a parent and non-traditional older student has been very good at Mizzou,” he said.

Brandon Gilliam earned his bachelor of science in nursing from UMSL through the 100% online RN-BSN program. “I had a great experience with UMSL,” he said. “I learned so much. I had a great experience with my instructors. I love what I do. I have a passion for it. I always like to try to encourage people to follow their dreams.”

2020 graduates also will be recognized. Mizzou hosted an in-person commencement celebration for ’20 grads April 24-25 and UMKC will host a ceremony on May 16. 

Troy Frazier earned his master of science in nursing from UMKC in 2020. He found the experience to be challenging due to having a family and other responsibilities, but it was made possible by the online flexibility — and encouragement from faculty and fellow learners. "I was able to pursue this degree because it was online,” he said. “The instructors want you to succeed. Your classmates want you to succeed. Everybody wants you to be successful.” 

Congratulations graduates! Find your commencement celebration information:

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Ready to earn your own degree or certificate? Learn more about the 260+ online programs offered by Mizzou, UMKC, Missouri S&T and UMSL.

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