(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Nearly 300 students crossed the stage at Missouri Western State University to earn their degrees and to become the university's newest alumni.
In total, 270 undergraduate degrees were conferred by university president Dr. Robert Vartabedian as well as 43 graduate degrees.
People gathered in the Looney Complex to take part in the graduation ceremony. This year's commencement speaker was Dr. Daniel Shepherd, chair and associate professor of education.
Dr. Shepherd's speech discussed the importance of doing the right thing in life from the time in college to post graduation.
For the university, staff says that graduation is the final way to appreciate the student's and faculty's hard work.
"This the culmination of what for many of these students is an achievement of a life time," Dr. Douglas Davenport, Interim Provost said. "And for us as a university, it's an indicator of the accomplishments of our students, our faculty, and staff."
Graduating from college is a huge accomplishment for many students. Crystal Enciso, a class of 2018 graduate, received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Language. Enciso says that the hard work over the years is worth the rewards that come with the degree and points to friends and family as an important part of the college experience.
"It's definitely worth it just because maybe it's if not because of the job, or whatever we want, it's because of our family and friends that we've met throughout our college career," Enciso said.
The university expects to see nearly 400 students graduate in the spring next year.