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It's a day four years in the making for most students. For others, the journey has taken a bit longer. But for all graduates that walk across the Show Me Center stage at Saturday's Southeast Missouri State University commencement ceremony, it will be a monumental day filled with joy.
The graduating class, 1,052 undergraduates and 270 graduate students, is the largest in the university's history. Gov. Jay Nixon will speak to the graduating class and guests, likely challenging them to make learning a lifelong endeavor. We hope this message does challenge, and excite, the students as they prepare to start or advance in their careers.
Earlier in the day 373 undergraduates, 120 students receiving master's degrees and 16 specialist degree students will attend an honors convocation. These students have proved themselves exceptional in their collegiate careers and will be recognized for their efforts. Addressing the group will be Dr. Susan Swartwout, a professor of English at the university and publisher and editor of the Southeast Missouri State University Press.
For all the talk about unemployment, particularly among young college graduates, we hope the students see the day as the start of something good. Yes, nationally the economic climate could be better. But for those students who make every effort to succeed, we're confident you'll find, or make your own, opportunities.
Congratulations to the students, parents, spouses and friends. Enjoy the day.