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Faculty/Student Awards | Spring Commencement | University News

Spring 2023 Commencement Includes Four Ceremonies, Five Individual Awards

By Jeff Murphy, May 3, 2023


University of Central Missouri alumnus David Hoffmann will receive the honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, during 2023 Spring Commencement exercises. 

WARRENSBURG, MO – The presentation of five individual awards honoring the achievements of exceptional faculty members, students and alumni and the conferring of degrees on hundreds of graduate and undergraduate students will highlight 2023 Spring Commencement exercises at the University of Central Missouri. While all students who have completed their degree requirements are not expected to participate, more than 2,000 new graduates are eligible to walk in one of four ceremonies planned the weekend of May 5-6 in the Multipurpose Building.

Commencement begins with the graduate ceremony at 6 p.m. Friday, May 5, honoring students in the College of Health, Science and Technology. This will be followed by the graduate ceremony recognizing students in the College of Education; College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; and the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies, at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 6.

Graduation festivities continue at 1:30 p.m. Saturday for undergraduate students who have earned degrees from the College of Health, Science and Technology, College of Education, the THRIVE certificate program, and General Studies degree program. In the final ceremony of the weekend, at 5 p.m. Saturday, the university will confer degrees upon students who completed graduation requirements in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies; and the Crisis and Disaster Management program.

During the Friday evening ceremony, David Hoffmann, a UCM alumnus who has an outstanding career as a businessman and entrepreneur, will be honored through the presentation of the honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters.  Hoffmann also will present the keynote address during this ceremony, and will be the keynote speaker at all Saturday commencement exercises.

An honorary degree recognizes individuals who have done outstanding work in their profession and in service to others in ways that inspire university students, employees and alumni. Hoffmann exemplifies the spirit of this award. In 1989, he founded DHR International, the world’s largest privately held executive search firm. Following the success of this company, he invested in the establishment of Osprey Capital, LLC, a private family office, which includes 110 brands in 27 countries and 200 properties worldwide. Throughout his career, Hoffmann has also contributed to community revitalization efforts and supported non-profit organizations in communities where he has resided in the states of Colorado, Florida and Illinois, and elsewhere in the United States. Most recently, he and his wife, Jerri, also a UCM graduate, have returned to their Missouri roots to support efforts to revitalize America’s first wine region in Augusta. 

Additional awards presented during Saturday commencement exercises will recognize the achievements of UCM faculty members and students. This includes the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education presented to Michelle L. Amos, associate professor of literacy, at 10 a.m.; Byler Distinguished Faculty Award presented to Scott Strohmeyer, professor of nutrition, kinesiology, and health studies, at 1:30 p.m.;  and Charno Awards presented to Paige VanBlarcum, candidate for Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, at 1:30 p.m., and Cade Tremain, candidate for a Bachelor of Science in Political Science, at 5 p.m.  

Individuals who want to learn more about the 2023 Spring Commencement, including viewing the weekend schedule and how to access a livestream of each ceremony, can do so at the event website.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



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