MU holds December graduations

Saturday, December 15, 2007 | 5:09 p.m. CST; updated 3:59 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Curtis Kukal, right, was joined by fiance Brittany Robinson, center, and Laurie Robinson after the Honors Graduation ceremony Saturday. He obtained a B.A. in Fisheries and Wildlife.

MU graduates battled snowy weather this weekend to receive 2,085 degrees from 12 schools and colleges.

The university awarded 1,408 undergraduate degrees, 653 graduate degrees, 23 professional degrees an one honorary degree.

The Sinclair School of Nursing began graduation activities Friday afternoon, followed by the colleges of Education and Business, the School of Journalism and the Graduate School.

Honors graduates were recognized Saturday morning in Jesse Hall. Other ceremonies Saturday included the colleges of Arts and Science, Engineering, Human Environmental Sciences and Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the School of Natural Resources. Graduates in law, medicine, health professions and veterinary medicine will wait to participate in May commencement ceremonies.

ROTC officers will be commissioned at 1:30 p.m. today in Stotler Lounge.

For some, graduation was a family affair.

Leah Drennan of Jefferson City was presented her degree by older sister Nicole, who graduated from the school last year. Another graduate received the degree from her mother, also an alumna.

“It makes the graduation more special and a little more personal and sentimental,” Nicole Drennan said. “I know the accomplishment she’s made because I did it, too.”

“It’s more meaningful to get it from my sister,” Leah Drennan said. “She helped me through college.”

Their mother, Val Drennan, said she wished she had a nursing degree as well, but her life path went a different direction. “Maybe some day,” she said.

Family and friends from farther away were trying to leave town Friday before the snow hit. All three carloads of Allena Robinson’s family were heading back to Chicago immediately after the College of Education ceremony. Robinson received her degree in secondary education for language arts in four-and-a-half-years.

“God blessed her. She ran out of financial aid and had nothing. Then she received a scholarship through the college,” said her mother, Marsha Eaglin. “Her nana died two weeks after she came to MU. She made a commitment to her grandmother that she would graduate, and she did.”

Robinson was one of the outstanding academic graduates from the College of Education. This year’s class achieved a grade point average of 3.7. The campus average is 3.2.

Several said they would join the work force right away, despite graduating in the middle of the school year.

“I plan to start substitute teaching and get my certification in Illinois after I get my Missouri certification in March,” Robinson said.

Robinson would like to get a master’s degree in counseling to help young people. She said its her duty to teach young people, especially in urban areas.

“Seeing my cousins who needed a positive influence was a motivation for me, but my family’s support has always helped me.”

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