More than 240 Students Graduate at Northwest Summer Commencement
More than 240 students received a degree at Northwest Missouri State during the summer graduation Thursday.
Those graduating included 128 undergraduate degrees, 106 graduate degrees and seven specialist in education degrees. Graduates ranged in age from 21 to 64 and represented four countries, including India, China and Morocco.
“You all have accomplished so much,” Northwest President John Jasinski told the graduates. “Let’s keep in mind, this ceremony is called a commencement because we celebrate not only a chapter in your life that will culminate today, but also what is to begin today and what you will accomplish in the years ahead.”
Second Harvest Community Food Bank CEO David Davenport delivered the commencement speech. Davenport told the graduates to “seek to be special, and I promise whatever your definition of success it will come true.”
Second Harvest distributes emergency food and offers programs serving more than 13,000 people each week throughout the organization’s 19-county service territory, Davenport is a veteran of the social sector. He previously spent 11 years in international service with the YMCA, was executive director of End Hunger Network in Houston and chief executive officer of the Capital Area Food Bank in Austin, Texas.
In his address, Davenport reflected on his work in the social sector as well as the impacts of his experience as a bilateral lung transplant survivor.
“Class of 2012, make sure you have an image in your mind of the pathway to success you wish to take,” Davenport said. “If that path brings joy and inspiration, I encourage you to embrace it. I also want to challenge you to be special. You see, success can come and go, but being special in the lives of others lasts forever. Seek to be special, and I promise whatever your definition of success it will come true.”