Skip to Main Navigation | Skip to Content

University Relations

University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


Special Awards Part of Spring Commencement May 4-5

Contact Jeff Murphy  |  Watch Commencement Live
WARRENSBURG, MO (May 1, 2012) – Special recognition for an alumnus and educator who has excelled in the criminal justice arena, and an award to a recent alumnus whose brief professional journey has taken him to positions at the White House and NBA will highlight the University of Central Missouri’s 2012 Spring Commencement exercises. Also joining more than 1,000 UCM undergraduates and graduates in ceremonies set for Friday and Saturday, May 4-5, will be the first group of students to complete the two-year THRIVE program.

The graduation ceremonies are open to the public, and take place in the Multipurpose Building, beginning with the Graduate Commencement on Friday. After a reception from 4:30 to 6 p.m., candidates for graduate degrees will be honored at 7 p.m. in a ceremony that features remarks by graduate students Tyler Gordon Laughlin, candidate for the Master of Science in Industrial Hygiene, and Christopher Ryan Thomas Beggs, candidate for the Master of Science in College Student Personnel Administration.

With UCM President Charles Ambrose as the guest speaker, ceremonies for undergraduates are planned for 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday. Participants in the morning ceremony will include graduates of the Adrian and Margaret Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies and the College of Education. In the afternoon, degrees will be conferred upon students in the College of Health, Science, and Technology and the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Graduation for nursing students is set for 11 a.m. in Hendricks Hall.

Special awards will include the honorary degree, Doctor of Laws, to David L. Carter, a UCM alumnus who currently serves as a professor in the School of Criminal Justice and director of the Intelligence Program at Michigan State University. He will be honored in the morning ceremony. In the afternoon, the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award will be presented to Lucas Boyce, a UCM graduate who currently serves as director of Community Relations Multicultural Insights and Political Affairs for the Orlando Magic NBA basketball franchise in Orlando, Fla..

Seven individuals who are the first students to complete the THRIVE program at UCM will be honored in the morning ceremony on Saturday, and then recognized in a reception immediately after commencement in Elliott Union Room 237A. THRIVE is an innovative, two-year certificate program designed to assist college-age students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to become independent, self-sufficient members of their community. The THRIVE acronym represents the six threads of the self-determination program: Transformation, Health, Responsibility, Independence, Vocation, and Education.

Award presentations that will take place during both Saturday commencement exercises are the Byler Distinguished Faculty Award to Mick Luehrman, chair of the Department of Art and Design, and the presentation of the Charno Awards to the top male and female members of the graduating class. Award recipients are Kara M. Fox , St. Charles, and Curtis J. Beasley, Manchester.

The Outstanding Recent Alumni Award recognizes an alumnus/a who graduated in the past 10 years and whose endeavors in business, professional, civic, philanthropic organizations, performing arts, public service, volunteer, political or similar activities are worthy of recognition and have brought honor to the University of Central Missouri.

Lucas Boyce
Lucas Boyce

After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in political science and speech communication in 2003, Lucas Daniel Boyce’s rapid ascent up the professional ladder has taken him to the White House and to the NBA. He has held his current post with the Orlando Magic since July 2008. He also formed his own company, Lucas Boyce Holdings, Inc., in 2010, and  has been a motivational speaker across the United States, while also sharing inspirational stories with others as the author of the publication, “Living Proof: From Foster Care to the White House and the NBA.”

Boyce earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science and speech communication at UCM in 2003. Not long after completing his degree, he became a staff assistant for the national political director for the Bush-Cheney 2004 presidential campaign, and by 2005 he was coordinating special projects related to the former vice president’s media, press and political outreach as an executive assistant to the counselor to the vice president. His continued work in the political arena also led to a job as deputy associate director for the Office of the Public Liaison at the White House in 2006, and in 2007-2008, Boyce served as associate director of the Office of Political Affairs in the White House.

Through his vast public service, Boyce has received numerous accolades which include the 2011 “Orlando Business Journal’s” 40 Under 40 Man of the Year and the “Orlando Sentinel’s” 2011 runner-up for the Central Floridian of the Year. His honors also include recognition as one of the National Junior Chamber of Commerce Jaycees’ Ten Outstanding Young Americans.

The honorary doctorate is bestowed by the authority of the UCM Board of Governors upon individuals who have distinguished themselves through outstanding service and exemplary achievements within their fields of endeavor. 

David L. Carter
David L. Carter

David L. Carter is highly regarded not only by the academic community but by professionals in the police field throughout the United States and in many foreign countries. The UCM alumnus currently serves as a professor and director of the intelligence program in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University, East Lansing, where he joined the faculty in 1985. A former Kansas City police officer, Carter spent nine years prior to his current appointment as chair of the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, Texas. In addition to his higher education experience, he has served as a trainer, consultant, and advisor to many law enforcement agencies throughout the United States, Europe and Asia on various law enforcement issues. His expertise has been utilized in training sessions at the FBI National Academy; the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (LEEDS); the International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest, Hungary; the United Nations Asia and Far East Institute in Tokyo; special programs for the Royal Thai Police, Hong Kong Police, the British Police Constabularies, and police “command colleges” in several states. In 1991, Dr. Carter was selected as the first faculty member in the country to serve at the FBI Academy, Behavioral Science Unit, Quantico, Va., on a faculty exchange.

Carter also serves as an instructor in the Bureau of Justice Assistance State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training (SLATT) program, and is the author of a book,“Law Enforcement Intelligence: A Guide for State, Local and Tribal Law Enforcement,” which was recently released in a second edition. In addition, he has served as project director for national intelligence programs funded by the Department of Homeland Security, and is an Academic Fellow of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, which gave him an opportunity to study terrorism in Israel.

In preparation for his professional career, Carter earned bachelor’s (1972) and master’s (1974) degrees from the University of Central Missouri. He also earned a doctorate from Sam Houston State University in Texas.