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UMKC to Fete More Than 2,000 Graduates

Outstanding civic leaders to be honored at commencement events

More than 2,000 graduates will receive degrees at a series of Spring Semester graduation ceremonies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Also during commencement exercises, five exceptional civic leaders who have made an indelible mark on their community will receive honorary doctorate degrees. The honorees are Gregory Graves, CEO of Burns & McDonnell, School of Computing and Engineering; philanthropist Shirley Bush Helzberg, Conservatory of Music and Dance; R. Crosby Kemper Jr., retired chairman of UMB Bank, College of Arts and Sciences; James A. Polsinelli, founder of the Polsinelli law firm, School of Law; and Ralph Reid, president of the Sprint Foundation and vice president of corporate social responsibility for Sprint, School of Education.

Graduation ceremonies and commencement speakers for the 12 events are as follows:

  • The School of Nursing and Health Studies commencement is 5 p.m. Thursday, May 16 at Swinney Recreation Center. Speaker will be Deborah Persell, M.S.N. ’78, Ph.D., the 2013 School of Nursing and Health Studies Alumni Achievement Awardee and professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, Arkansas State University.
  • The School of Computing and Engineering commencement is 10 a.m. Friday, May 17 at Swinney Recreation Center. Speaker will be Graves, who also will receive his honorary doctorate.
  • The College of Arts and Sciences will have two ceremonies, both at Swinney Recreation Center on Friday, May 17. The first is at 1 p.m. and the second is at 4 p.m. Kemper will receive his honorary doctorate at 1 p.m. and the speaker will be Teresa Chaurand, B.A. ’94, Special Assistant to the President at the White House. The speaker at 4 p.m. will be Steve Kraske, political correspondent for The Kansas City Star and host of “Up to Date” on KCUR-FM.
  • The Henry W. Bloch School of Management commencement is 7 p.m. Friday, May 17 at Swinney Recreation Center. Speaker will be Peter deSilva, President and COO of UMB Financial.
  • The School of Education commencement is 10 a.m. Saturday, May 18 at Swinney Recreation Center. Speaker will be Reid, who also will receive his honorary doctorate.
  • The Conservatory of Music and Dance commencement is 10 a.m. Saturday, May 18 in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Speaker will be Helzberg, who also will receive her honorary doctorate.
  • The School of Pharmacy commencement is 1 p.m. Saturday, May 18 at Swinney Recreation Center. Speaker will be Mark L. Hayes, B.S.P. ’88, R.Ph., J.D., shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, LLP and former chief health counsel for the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.
  • The School of Biological Sciences commencement is 1 p.m. Saturday, May 18 at the White Recital Hall, James C. Olson Performing Arts Center.
  • The School of Law commencement is at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 18 at Swinney Recreation Center. Speaker will be The Hon. Ortrie D. Smith, J.D. ’71, Judge, U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri. Polsinelli will receive his honorary doctorate.
  • The School of Dentistry commencement is at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 18 at Swinney Recreation Center.
  • The School of Medicine commencement is at 3 p.m. Friday, May 24 at Swinney Recreation Center. Speaker will be Thomas L. Toth, M.D. ’86, the 2013 E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award Recipient and Founder and Director of the In Vitro Fertilization Unit and Reproductive Endocrinology/Infertility Fellowship Training Program at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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