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More than 1,200 students graduate with honors from MU

Saturday, May 14, 2011 | 2:43 p.m. CDT; updated 5:39 p.m. CDT, Saturday, May 14, 2011
MU Chancellor Brady Deaton presents MU graduate Sheryl Crow with an Honorary Doctoral of Humane Letters degree on Saturday at the Honors Convocation ceremony held in Mizzou Arena. Sir Ian Wilmut was also presented with an Honorary Doctoral of Science degree at Saturday's ceremony.

COLUMBIA — Sheryl Crow was a speaker Saturday morning at MU's Honors Convocation, but she wasn't the only one given star treatment. 

Students graduating with honors from their respective schools and colleges were walked to their seats by a mentor of their choice. This practice is specific to the honors ceremony and reinforces the idea that this is one day that is all about them. 

"This is his big day," said Jacqueline Cook of her son Daniel Cook. "It's time for him to move on and start experiencing life. We're so proud."

The Honors Ceremony began at 8:30 a.m. at Mizzou Arena. 

"I'm just looking forward to starting the rest of my life," said elementary education graduate Victoria Davies. "But I'm not nervous. I'm more excited than anything. I've been waiting for this."

Chancellor Brady Deaton opened by urging the Honors Program's 1,227 graduates to "dream big, be determined and to never forget the values you've learned at Mizzou." 

"It's so weird that people are actually getting jobs," said health sciences graduate Elizabeth Heeb. "Like, real jobs."

"I came into Mizzou knowing no one," said health sciences graduate Laura Benoy. "But now I think about all the people I'm going to miss. I've made a family here."

For education graduate Amanda Litteken, college flew by. "My mom always tells me that life goes faster as you get older," Litteken said. "She's right."

Crow, who was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters, began her speech with lessons from a bumper sticker. 

She said that a while back, she was sitting in Los Angeles traffic wondering what she would say to graduates who had their whole lives ahead of them, and then she saw it: "Go out on a limb — isn't that where the fruit is?"

"If you take nothing else from me standing up here today, remember these two words: infinite possibility. Because that's what you all have,"  Crow said.

Sir Ian Wilmut was awarded an honorary doctorate in science. Wilmut, who directs the Medical Research Council's Center for Regenerative Medicine, is a pioneer in genetic engineering and produced the famous first cloned sheep "Dolly."

 He drew a round of applause when he talked about how it is now possible to eradicate childhood diseases across the world. With that in mind, he urged students to achieve more than they think they can.

MU Chancellor Brady Deaton welcomes Sir Ian Wilmut, the winner of an honorary doctorate in science, to the podium during the Honors Convocation on Saturday at Mizzou Arena. Wilmut, who directs the Medical Research Council's Center for Regenerative Medicine, is a pioneer in genetic engineering and produced the famous first cloned sheep "Dolly."
MU Honors graduate Megan Scheufele hugs her mentor, Lee Henson, after returning from receiving her honors medallion at Saturday’s ceremony held at Mizzou Arena. Scheufele graduated with a Health Science degree with an emphasis in ultrasound.
MU Honors graduate Cindy Maupin smiles at an audience member just before it was her turn to go up to the stage to receive her honors on Saturday at Mizzou Arena.
MU Honors Graduate Alyssa Slater walks up to receive her Honors medallion on Saturday at Mizzou Arena. Slater received her degree in Business Management.
Families of recent MU graduates gather around the Columns in the Francis Quadrangle on Saturday to take pictures. The Columns symbolically welcome MU students at the beginning of their college career with the Tiger Walk and send graduates off with the Tiger Prowl.
An MU Honors graduate sits patiently waiting for his turn to walk up onto stage while holding the program of the ceremony's events. More than 1,220 students graduated with Honors, and many attended Saturday's ceremony at in Mizzou Arena.

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