University President Mark Lombardi conferred academic degrees for hundreds of students during an outdoor spring commencement on May 5.
St. Louis Juvenile Court Judge Jimmie Edwards, known nationally for his work developing an alternative school for troubled youth in St. Louis, delivered the commencement address. He told graduates that their educations would allow them to explore opportunities they might not otherwise have had. “Education, indeed, is the difference between a job and a career. Doing what you have to do to pay the bills, and doing what you love to do – what inspires you to get up each morning and start your day,” he said. Edwards received Maryville University’s John E. Simon Civic Service Award, named in honor of the late St. Louis businessman, philanthropist and Maryville University Trustee.
Kirstin Marklin, ’12, who studied interior design, and Carol E. Heitland, `12, who studied business administration, served as the student speakers. Heitland began college at age 26, but took time off to raise her two sons. She said at commencement she earned her bachelor’s degree shortly after turning 53. With a full-time job, a husband, two sons, a dog and a house to keep her busy, she decided to attend Maryville’s Weekend and Evening College because it provided the flexibility she needed to complete her undergraduate education. And she’s not done yet: she said at commencement she’ll continue on to get a master’s degree.
Maryville had more than 900 candidates for degrees this spring, with about 600 students earning undergraduate degrees, 200 earning master’s degrees and about 90 who have finished work for doctoral degrees. Commencement took place on a bright, sunny day. Family and friends gathered on Commencement Lawn—and some sought out shade under the trees—by Donius University Center to enjoy the occasion. Congratulations to the graduates and please view a photo gallery below.