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University Relations

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


Celebration March 27 Highlights Progress Under Learning to a Greater Degree

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (March 19, 2014) – A public celebration of the progress the University of Central Missouri is making under its Learning to a Greater Degree Contract for student completion initiative is planned for Thursday, March 27. The public is invited to events that take place in the Elliott Student Union and at the site of new mixed-use student housing and retail facility.

“We’re very proud of initiatives UCM has undertaken during the past year that will have a long-term impact on the university’s ability to help ensure student success,” said UCM President Charles Ambrose. “We’re embarking on the largest capital construction project in the university’s history at the same time we are finishing our first academic year under our Learning to a Greater Degree Contract for student completion. Activities planned for
March 27 will honor the progress we’ve made, while setting the tone for a bright future at UCM under these new initiatives.”

 Activities begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Elliott Student Union Atrium. President Ambrose will update those in attendance on the Learning to a Greater Degree Contract initiative, giving special attention to more than 2,100 undergraduate students who are on track to graduate in 2017. They will become the first students in UCM’s history to earn their diplomas under the Learning to a Greater Degree Contract for completion, and the first to receive “15-to- Finish Scholarships.” The president’s remarks will be followed by the unveiling of the new “UCM cookie” at 10:45 a.m. in the atrium, and the demolition ceremony for the General Services Building at 11:30 a.m. The GSB, located at 116 W. South St., is the site of the student housing-retail project to be completed in summer 2015.

Launched in fall 2013, the Learning to a Greater Degree Contract for student completion clears the way for student success and ensures their time and money at UCM are well spent. To ensure timely graduation, students commit to enrolling in the right 15 hours of classes per semester, attend class regularly, communicate with their professors, check in with their academic advisor every semester, live on campus for at least two years, and engage outside the classroom. UCM, in turn, commits to a custom course plan to keep students on track, a 24/7 campus alive with plenty of opportunities for student engagement, and new residence hall-retail facility. Additionally, each student who successfully completes 90 semester hours under the contract for completion is eligible to receive a “15-to-Finish” scholarship of $1,000, an opportunity Ambrose will discuss during his March 27 remarks.

 During the 11:30 a.m. event, President Ambrose will climb aboard a track hoe excavator to ceremonially begin the demolition of the General Services Building. An important part of Learning to a Greater Degree, the project with the working title, “The Crossing – South at Holden,” is a part of a total $60 million construction initiative that enables the university to create a new front door to the Warrensburg community on the north side of campus. The mixed-use facility will accommodate approximately 325 students in a mix of two- and four-bedroom units that feature kitchens, living areas, and private bathrooms for each two students, with supporting community spaces. It will also include retail space within the building, including a new University Store, and one to three separate restaurant/coffee shop spaces. Architectural drawings of the new facility and more details about the businesses to locate within the The Crossing will be provided during the progress celebration.

The mixed-use facility will be located on the north side of Audrey J. Walton Stadium at Vernon Kennedy Field, where additional upgrades are being planned. This includes new locker rooms on the lower level of the stadium, new visitors seating on the east side of the field, and an upgraded entryway at the southwest side of the football field. Along with these upgrades, UCM is relocating GSB operations to the new South East Complex at 415 E. Clark St.

During the spring semester, University Relations has worked closely with the staff at Sodexo, the university’s food services provider, to create a special cookie that will become available at various university functions. Individuals attending the progress celebration in the Elliott Student Union will have an opportunity to sample this tasty creation, which incorporates university colors.

To learn more about the progress celebration and the new mixed-use facility are urged to visit