This weekend, May 11-13, the University of Missouri celebrates a new class of graduates. Among them are more than 540 graduates who are earning their #OnlineStripes – they completed their degrees online. 

Ajay Vinze Ajay Vinze
Trulaske College of Business

Ajay Vinzé, Dean of the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business, reminds the graduates that earning their degree online was no small feat. 

“We at the University of Missouri developed distance learning opportunities to improve access. It certainly was not to make programs any easier,” said Vinzé. “Online programming at Mizzou is just as rigorous as our in-seat offerings. But completing these programs is arguably more difficult, as many of our online students – all of you – are balancing family, career, and community responsibilities.”

Vinzé’s remarks are part of MU’s online commencement celebration of the class of 2018. The online commencement site also includes a guestbook and a stream of best wishes for online graduates from Twitter users.

The site is a tribute to the past accomplishments of the new graduates, but Vinzé reminds them to also look ahead to their future.

“The future is bright,” Vinzé says. “You are now #MizzouMade and I know you’ll join the extensive network of Tigers with pride.”

More than 540 Tigers from more than a dozen MU schools and colleges have earned their degrees or certificates online this semester at all academic levels.

Members of Mizzou’s online class of ’18 live in 39 of the United States and seven countries — as far away as Thailand. They range in age from 21 to 72. 21 graduates received tuition awards that provide a 10 percent tuition reduction (the Mizzou Online Military Tuition Award and the Mizzou Online Community College Award).

One of the spring ’18 graduates is Jennifer Kandlik, who has earned several degrees through the University of Missouri. This semester, Kandlik has completed a doctorate in nursing practice online. Kandlik reminds graduates to not only thank their support networks, but to congratulate themselves during this time of celebration.

“Never forget to congratulate yourself,” said Kandlik. “Yes, give yourself a round of applause. You are the one who dreamed of more and took the steps needed to pursue the goal of higher education and never gave up.” 

Are you earning your #OnlineStripes this weekend? If so, share your photos on social media with #OnlineStripes in your post. You also can send the web link to your friends and family so they may leave congratulatory messages in the online guest book

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