by Mike Brothers, Drury University
Drury University awarded degrees to 224 graduates at commencement today. There were 194 undergraduate degrees conferred by both the traditional Day School and the College of Continuing Professional Studies; 35 graduate degrees were conferred by the Graduate College. Some student earned multiple degrees.
Tim Garrison, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, addressed the graduates. Garrison is a 1998 Drury alumnus and an eighth-generation Missourian. He earned a Master of Public Administration degree and a Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri and received his officer’s commission after graduating from the Marine Corps Officer Candidates School in 2003.
Garrison told the graduates that they are among the less than 7 percent of the world’s population to hold a college degree. An education is one of the best investments anyone can make, he said – but he also told the new graduates there’s a sure way to waste the opportunity before them.
“Wasting your life is very easy,” he said. “The best way to do it is to make the rest of your life about you, and about now.” Recalling President John F. Kennedy’s famous call to national service and Mother Teresa’s mission in India, Garrison noted that it is easy to recognize the inherent nobility of service, but harder to actually step up and become a servant. Yet serving others with our talents and knowledge leads to an impact that outlasts us all, bringing about both individual happiness and true change in the world.
“Paradoxically, we have to take the long view because our lives are so short,” Garrison said.
Honorary degree presented to Dr. John E. “Jack” Wagner
Jack Wagner was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Wagner began his higher education career at Drury College in 1945. During his time at Drury, he was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha and the Seven Sages. His studies were interrupted by his service to the United States. In 1950, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
Wagner earned a bachelor’s degree from West Point. After attending a variety of military programs, he continued his education at the University of Illinois, completing his Master of Science in Civil Engineering in 1959. He completed his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering in 1961and became a licensed professional engineer. He also became a Fellow in the American Society of Civil Engineers.