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.