On Saturday, May 18, UMKC’s Propel Program saw its second graduating class. This year we had twelve students graduating. Before graduation, Propel hosted a small gathering for our graduates, their families and friends to award one of our graduates the Propel Program’s first Austin Turner Award. The award was created in honor of Propel graduate Austin Turner, who passed away last November due to health complications. The Austin Turner Award will now be given annually to a Propel student who most embodies the spirit of Austin. The first recipient of the award was Propel graduate Reggie Koger. Austin’s mother, Roslyn Turner, was present at the occasion to see Reggie accept the award.
Following the gathering, everyone in attendance escorted the students to Swinney Auditorium for the graduation ceremony. Propel students took their seats with the rest of the College of Arts and Sciences 2019 graduating class. First, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Wayne Vaught, addressed the graduates and then the commencement speaker Steven St. John, a sports announcer at KCUR, spoke to the graduating class. Propel founder Dr. Alexis Petri served as the Marshall of the graduation as students were called on stage to accept their diplomas. This second graduating class is testament to all our students’ hard work and perseverance as well as the dedication of the Propel Student families, friends and our amazing Propel staff.