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History and Traditions


Commencement has a long and rich history. Read along below for the traditions of graduation and to learn more about the honorary degrees and speeches presented at UMSL's past commencements.

Written speeches and speakers names can be found below. Our speakers from Spring 2018 and after have recordings that can be viewed here

Lisa D. Yanker, ceremony VI
Retired Vice President, IBM
May 19, 2019
speech

Charles J. Pearson, ceremony V
Superintendent of Schools, Normandy Schools Collaborative
May 19, 2019
speech

Bethany Johnson-Javois, ceremony IV
Chief Executive Officer, St. Louis Integrated Health Network
May 18, 2019
speech

Sara E. Foster, ceremony III
Executive Vice President, Commerce Bancshares, Inc.
May 18, 2019
speech

Claire Schenk, ceremony II
Partner, Thompson Coburn LLP
May 18, 2019
speech

Dr. Edward S. Bennett, ceremony I
Assistant Dean of Student Services and Alumni Relations, and Professor, UMSL College of Optometry
May 17, 2019
speech

Sheila A. Burkett, ceremony III
Co-Founder & CEO, Spry Digital
December 15, 2018
speech

Christine Brewer,
ceremony II
American Soprano
December 15, 2018
song list and performance

Richard K. Jung,
 ceremony I
Strategic Advisor, Thrively
December 15, 2018
speech
 
Thomas Schlafly, 
ceremony VI
Chairman of the Board, the St. Louis Brewery, LLC
Senior Council, Thompson Coburn, LLP
May 13, 2018
speech

Sharonica Hardin-Bartley, ceremony V
Superintendent of Schools, The School District of University City
May 13, 2018
speech

Tony Thompson, ceremony IV
Chairman and CEO, Kwame Building Group Inc.
May 12, 2018
speech

Susan K. Feigenbaum, ceremony III
Curators' Distinguished Teaching Professor Department of Economics, UMSL
May 12, 2018
speech

Bobby Norfolk, ceremony II
Speaker, Author, Storyteller, Teaching Artist
May 12, 2018
speech

Arol Augsburger, ceremony I
President, Illinois College of Optometry
May 11, 2018
speech

Kei Y. Pang, ceremony III
Chief Executive Officer, Nidec Motor Company
December 16, 2017
speech

Gary F. Bell, ceremony II
Founder and Artistic Director, Stray Dog Theatre
December 16, 2017
speech

Cheryl Jones, ceremony I
President and CEO, Girls Inc.
December 16, 2017
speech-coming soon

Dr. Thomas Hoerr, ceremony V
Scholar in Residence with College of Education, UMSL
May 14, 2017
speech

Jennifer Cordia, ceremony IV
Vice President of Patient Care and Chief Nursing Officer, Christian Hospital and Northwest Healthcare
May 13, 2017
speech

W. Raymond Barrett, ceremony I
Chairman and Founder, Biomedical Systems
May 12, 2017
speech

D'Andre Braddix, ceremony II
Assistant Dean of Students, UMSL
December 17, 2016
speech

John Vatterott, ceremony I
Owner, Ceder Creek
December 17, 2016
speech

Tim Hebel, ceremony I
BS computer science 2016
Founder, Beanstalk Web Soutions
May 14, 2016
speech

Jordan Pickering, ceremony II
CCJ doctoral student
May 14, 2016
speech

Barbara W. Brown, OD 1988
ceremony III
May 14, 2016
speech

Lee Fetter, ceremony IV
BJC Group President
May 15, 2016
speech

Joseph A. Stieven, ceremony V
CEO, Stieven Capital Advisors, LP
May 15, 2016
speech

Jim Krueger
Vice Chancellor for Managerial and Technological Services, UMSL
Dec. 19, 2015
speech

Ronald B. McMullen
President, Christian Hospital
Aug. 8, 2015
speech

June McAllister Fowler
VP, BJC Healthcare
May 16, 2015
speech

Colleen Starkloff
Co-founder, Starkloff Disability Institute
May 16, 2015
speech

The Hon. Terry Swinger OD
Optometrist and former Missouri
legislator
May 16, 2015
speech

Maxine Clark
Founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop
May 17, 2015
speech

Gladys Caines Coggswell
Storyteller and historian
May 17, 2015
speech

Patrick J. Sly
Executive VP, Emerson
May 17, 2015
speech 

Robert G Heil
Founder, Heil Sound
Dec. 20, 2014
speech not avaiable

Jorge Riopedre
Exec. Dir.,Casa de Salud
Dec. 20, 2014
speech

Karla Bakersmith
CEO, Scrubs & Beyond
Dec. 20, 2014
speech

Grayling O. Tobias
Superintendent
Hazelwood School District
Aug. 9, 2014
speech

Steven R. Sullivan
President, Provident, Inc.
Aug. 9, 2014
speech

Joseph Bergfeld
President, Pittsburgh Pipe and Supply Co.
May 17, 2014
speech

Randy E. Sims
President and Founder
Sims Exectuive Search
May 17, 2014
speech

Stephen J. Burrows
Business executive and educator
May 18, 2014
speech

The. Rev. Starsky Wilson
President and CEO, Deaconess Foundation
Dec. 14, 2013
speech

The Hon. Jason Kander
Missouri Secretary of State
Dec. 14, 2013
speech

Kirk Richter
retired vp and treasurer,
Sigma Aldrich Corp.
Dec. 14, 2013
speech

David Hilliard
President and CEO, Wyman Center
Aug. 10, 2013
speech

JoAnn M. Shaw
Vice President and
Chief Learning Officer
BJC Center for LifeLong Learning
Aug. 10, 2013
speech

Jeffrey Weaver, OD
Executive Director
American Board of Optometry
May 18, 2013
speech

Dennis Reagan
President and CEO, the Muny
Aug. 4, 2012
Speech

Jean Carnahan
Former U.S. Senator
Aug. 4, 2012
Speech

Andrew Hall
Former President and CEO of Stage Stores Inc.
May 13, 2012
Speech

Lt. Col. James Craig
Commander, The Gateway Battalion Army ROTC detachment St. Louis
May 12, 2012
Speech

Patricia Wolff, MD
Executive Director of Meds & Food for Kids
May 12, 2012
Speech

Jerry Dunn
Clinical Associate Professor and Director of Child Advocacy Center
Dec. 17, 2011
Speech

Cynthia Prost
President of Arts and Education Council
Dec. 17, 2011
Speech

The Honorable Suresh Kumar
Assistant Secretary of Commerce
Dec. 17, 2011
Speech

Robert Reeg
President of MasterCard Technologies
Aug. 6, 2011
Speech

Charlie Hoffman
Former President and CEO of Covad Communications
Aug. 6, 2011
Speech

Art McCoy
Superintendent of the Ferguson-Florissant School District
May 15, 2011
Speech

Earl Horton, BSBA
May 15, 2011
Speech

Dori Carlson O.D.
May 14, 2011
Speech

Gary Dollar
President and CEO at United Way of Greater St. Louis
May 14, 2011
Speech

Deborah Patterson
President of Monsanto Fund
May 14, 2011
Speech


Norman Eaker
Principal and CEO, Edward Jones
Aug. 7, 2010
Speech


John "Jack" Galmiche
President and CEO of KETC Nine Network
May 15, 2010

Students
May 15, 2010
Thomas Knoten, MA philosophy
Amanda Duckwall, BS biology
Speech

Thomas Klein, BA English

Lee Ann Barrett
Executive Director of the Missouri Optometric Association
May 15, 2010
(College of Optometry)

Inda Schaenen
Educator and doctoral candidate
May 16, 2010
(College of Education)

Erwin Branahl
Retired engineer and McDonnell Douglas executive
May 16, 2010
(College of Business Administration and UMSL/Washington University Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program)
Speech


Karen Kalish
Executive Director and Founder of Cultural Leadership
and the Teacher Home Visit Program
Dec. 19, 2009
(College of Arts and Sciences)
Speech

Debra Hollingsworth
Vice President for External Affairs at AT&T Missouri
Dec. 19, 2009
(College of Arts and Sciences)
Speech


Warner Baxter
President and CEO of Ameren UE
May 16, 2009
(College of Arts and Sciences)
Speech


Gary Belsky
Editor in Chief of ESPN The Magazine
(Colleges of Education, College of Nursing, College of Fine Arts and Communication, School of Social Work, Bachelor of General Studies and Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies, and Masters in Public Policy Administration)
Speech

Don Marsh
Journalist, author and current host of 90.7 FM KWMU's St. Louis on the Air
Aug. 2, 2008
(College of Education, College of Nursing, College of Fine Arts and Communication)
Speech

Charles Armbruster
retired UMSL chemistry professor
Aug. 2, 2008
(College of Arts and Sciences, School of Social Work, Bachelor of General Studies, Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Master's in Gerontology, Master's in Public Policy Administration)
Speech

John Hixson
President and Chief Executive Officer, LaBarge Products, Inc.
Aug. 2, 2008
(College of Business Administration, UMSL/WU Joint Undergraduate Engineering)
Speech


James R. Kimmey
President and CEO, Missouri Foundation for Health
Dec. 16, 2006
(College of Nursing and Health Studies, UMSL/WU Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program, College of Fine Arts and Communication, School of Social Work, Bachelor of General Studies, UMR-EEC, Gerontology Masters Program and Masters in Public Policy Administration)
Speech

Robert Lewis
Principal and President, Development Strategies
Dec. 16, 2006
(College of Arts and Sciences)
Speech

Robert Frank
President, Illuminor LLC
Dec. 17, 2006
(College of Education)
Speech

The Honorable Robin Carnahan
Missouri Secretary of State
Dec. 17, 2006
(College of Business Administration)
Speech


The Honorable William Lacy Clay
Missouri Representative to the U.S. House of Representatives
May 13, 2006
(College of Nursing, UMSL/WU Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program, College of Fine Arts and Communication, School of Social Work, Bachelor of General Studies, UMR-EEC, Gerontology Masters Program and Masters in Public Policy Administration)
Speech

William Thomas Walker
Dean, Continuing Education and Outreach, UMSL
May 13, 2006
(College of Arts and Sciences)
Speech

Stephen Lehmkuhle
Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, University of Missouri System
May 13, 2006
(College of Optometry)
Speech

Elizabeth Fitzgerald
President. The Magic House
May 14, 2006
(College of Education)
Speech

Peter Schick
President, Moneta Group
May 14, 2006
(College of Business Administration)
Speech


H. Gerald Schwartz Jr.
Senior professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Engineering Management Program, Washington University in St. Louis
Dec. 17, 2005
(College of Nursing, UMSL/WU Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program, College of Fine Arts and Communication, School of Social Work, Bachelor of General Studies, UMR-EEC, Gerontology Masters Program and Masters in Public Policy Administration)
Speech

Mark A. Burkholder 
Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, UMSL
Dec. 17, 2005
(College of Arts and Sciences)
Speech

Thomas R. Hoerr
Director, New City School
Dec. 18, 2005
(College of Education)
Speech

David G. Otto
Principal, Edward Jones
Dec. 18, 2005
(College of Business Administration)
Speech


Charles D. Schmitz
Dean and Professor of the College of Education, UMSL
Aug. 7, 2005
(College of Arts and Sciences, School of Social Work, College of Education, Evening College, College of Fine Arts and Communication, Master's in Gerontology, Master's in Public Policy Administration)
Speech

Gregory Boyce
President and COO, Peabody Energy
Aug. 7, 2005
(College of Business Administration, College of Nursing, UMSL/WU Joint Engineering Program)
Speech


Lee Armstrong Clear
Vice President and Marketing Manager, Clear Channel Radio-St. Louis.
May 14, 2005
(Eveving College, Barnes College of Nursing and Health Studies, UMSL/WU Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program, College of Fine Arts and Communication, UMR-EEC, Gerontology Masters Program and Masters in Public Policy Administration)
Speech

Susan K. Feigenbaum
Professor and Chair, Department of Economics, UMSL
May 14, 2005
(College of Arts and Sciences and School of Social Work)
Speech

Jerald Wayne Strickland
Interim Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, University of Houston
May 14, 2005
(College of Optometry)
Speech

Charles D. Schmitz
Dean and Professor of the College of Education, UMSL
May 15, 2005
(College of Education)
Speech


K. Lynn Wieck, Ph.D. RN
CEO, Management Soultions for Healthcare
Dec. 18, 2004
(Evening College, College of Nursing, UMSL/WU Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program, College of Fine Arts and Communication, UMR-EEC, Gerontology Masters Program and Masters in Public Policy Administration)
Speech

Scott H. Decker
Curators' Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, UMSL
Dec. 18, 2004
(College of Arts and Sciences and School of Social Work)
Speech

Charles D. Schmitz
Dean and Professor, College of Education, UMSL
Dec. 19, 2004
(College of Education)
Speech

Keith Womer
Dean,  College of Business Administration, UMSL
Dec. 19, 2004
(College of Business Administration)
Speech


Donald H. Driemeier
Deputy to the Chancellor, UMSL
Aug. 8, 2004
(College of Arts and Sciences, Evening College, College of Education, College of Fine Arts and Communication, Gerontology Masters Program and Masters in Public Policy Administration)
Speech

Cecil G. Wood
Senior Vice President, UMB Bank
Aug. 8, 2004
(College of Business Administration, College of Nursing and UMSL/WU Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program)
Speech

Stanley I. Proctor
Chemical Engineer & President, Proctor Consulting Services
May 15, 2004 
(Evening College, Barnes College of Nursing & Health Studies, UMSL/WU Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program, College of Fine Arts & Communication, UM Rolla Engineering Education Center, Gerontology Masters Program, Physiological Optics Masters Program, and Masters in Public Policy Administration)

Roger Beachy
President & Director, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
May 15, 2004 
(College of Arts and Sciences)

The Honorable Anne Ream
curator, University of Missouri System Board of Curators 
May 15, 2004 
(College of Optometry)

Lynn Beckwith, Jr. 
Interim E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor, University of Missouri - St. Louis & St. Louis Public Schools 
May 16, 2004 
(College of Education)

Thomas Schlafly
Attorney at Law, Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin L.L.P
President, St. Louis Brewery Inc. 
May 16, 2004 
(College of Business Administration)

Thomas F. George 
Chancellor, University of Missouri - St. Louis 
Jan. 11, 2004 
(College of Education)

David G. Niklaus
Business Columnist, St. Louis Post-Dispatch  
Jan. 11, 2004 
(College of Business Administration)

Jean Carnahan 
U.S. Senator (former)
Jan. 10, 2004 
(College of Arts & Sciences)

Jill A. McGuire 
Executive Director, St. Louis Regional Arts Commission 
Jan. 10, 2004 
University of Missouri - St. Louis 

Elson S. Floyd 
President, University of Missouri System
Aug. 10, 2003 
University of Missouri - St. Louis 

Dr. Donald Suggs
President & Publisher, St. Louis American 
May 17, 2003 
University of Missouri - St. Louis 

Blanche M. Touhill
Chancellor Emeritus, University of Missouri - St. Louis  
Jan. 12, 2003 
University of Missouri - St. Louis 

Lawrence Barton
Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Missouri - St. Louis  
Aug. 11, 2002
University of Missouri - St. Louis 

The Honorable William Lacy Clay 
United States Congressman (former)
May 18, 2002 
University of Missouri - St. Louis 

The Honorable Peter Kinder 
President Pro Tem, Missouri Senate
Jan. 13, 2002 
University of Missouri - St. Louis 

Joseph T. Porter
Attorney at Law, Polsinelli Shalton & Welte P.C.
President, University of Missouri - St. Louis Alumni Association
Aug. 12, 2001
University of Missouri - St. Louis 

Hon. Francis F. Slay
Mayor, City of St. Louis
May 19, 2001
University of Missouri - St. Louis 

Jan Newton
President, Missouri Division, Southwestern Bell Telephone Company 
Jan. 14, 2001
University of Missouri - St. Louis 

Peter H. Raven
Director, Missouri Botanical Garden 
May 20, 2000
University of Missouri - St. Louis 

Ellen Sherberg
Publisher, St. Louis Business Journal 
January 9, 2000
University of Missouri - St. Louis 

The Honorable Connie Hager Silverstein
curator, University of Missouri System Board of Curators
Aug. 8, 1999
University of Missouri - St. Louis 

David C. Darnell
President, NationsBank Midwest 
May 15, 1999
University of Missouri - St. Louis 

John W. Bachmann
Managing Principal, Edward Jones
Jan. 10, 1999
University of Missouri - St. Louis 

Robert R. Archibald
President, Missouri Historical Society 
Aug. 9, 1998
University of Missouri - St. Louis

M. Brian Mulroney
Canadian Prime Minister (Former)
May 16, 1998
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Manuel T. Pacheco 
President, University of Missouri System
Jan. 11, 1998
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Osborne Earl "Ozzie" Smith
Shortstop, St. Louis Cardinals 
Aug. 10, 1997
University of Missouri - St. Louis

The Honorable Thomas F. Eagleton
United States Senator 
May 17, 1997
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Malaika Horne
President, University of Missouri System Board of Curators 
Jan. 12, 1997
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Kala M. Stroup
Commissioner, Missouri Coordinating Board of Higher Education
Head, Missouri Department of Education
Aug. 11, 1996
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Antoinette Bailey
President, McDonnell Douglas Foundation
May 18, 1996
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Stephen W. Lehmkuhle
Professor of Optometry, University of Missouri - St. Louis 
Aug. 6, 1995
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Julius Hunter
News Anchor, KMOV-TV St. Louis 
Jan. 8, 1995
University of Missouri - St. Louis

The Honorable Mary S. Gillespie
curator, University of Missouri System Board of Curators 
Aug. 7, 1994
University of Missouri - St. Louis

William F. Woo
Editor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch 
May 15, 1994
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Cynthia B. Thompson
curator, University of Missouri System Board of Curators
Jan. 9, 1994
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Joseph S. Martinich 
Associate Professor of Business Administration, University of Missouri - St. Louis 
Aug. 8, 1993
University of Missouri - St. Louis

John F. Dill
President and CEO, Mosby-Year Book, Inc.
May 16, 1993
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Eugene M. Lang
Founder, I Have a Dream Foundation

Jan. 10, 1993
University of Missouri - St. Louis

James L. McHugh
curator, University of Missouri System Board of Curators 
Aug. 9, 1992
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Stanford McDonnell
Chairman Emeritus, McDonnell Douglas Corporation 
May 17, 1992
University of Missouri - St. Louis

John P. Lichtenegger
President, University of Missouri System Board of Curators 
Jan. 5, 1992
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Donald Phares 
Professor of Economics, University of Missouri - St. Louis 
Aug. 4, 1991
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Robert Yeckel
Chair, Missouri Coordinating Board of Higher Education 
May 12, 1991
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Douglas Bennet 
President, National Public Radio 
Jan. 6, 1991
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Thomas M. Jordan
Curators' Professor of Behavioral Studies, University of Missouri - St. Louis 
Aug. 5, 1990
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Stephen Jay Gould 
Professor of Zoology, Harvard University 
May 13, 1990
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Admiral Stansfield Turner
Admiral (retired), United States Navy 
May 13, 1990
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Willie Mae Ford Smith
National Heritage Fellow, National Endowment for the Arts  
Aug. 6, 1989
University of Missouri - St. Louis

The Honorable Vincent C. Schoemehl, Jr. 
Mayor, City of St. Louis 
May 14, 1989
University of Missouri - St. Louis

The Honorable Edwin S. Turner
President, University of Missouri System Board of Curators 
Jan. 8, 1989
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Robert McFerrin
Baritone Artist in Residence, University of Missouri - St. Louis 
Aug. 7, 1988
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Leonard Slatkin
Music Director and Conductor, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra 
May 15, 1988
University of Missouri - St. Louis

The Honorable Roger B. Wilson
Missouri State Senator 
Jan. 3, 1988
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Honorary degrees are awarded to persons who have rendered distinctive service to the university, who have rendered distinctive service to the state, graduates or former students who have achieved distinction, or a person of high distinction, from this country or abroad, who are not necessarily associated with the university or the state. To learn more about how these awards are given please read more here.

Recipient Honorary Degree Date
Christine Brewer Doctor of Arts and Letters Dec., 2018
Paul T. Thiel Doctor of Arts and Letters Dec., 2018
Richard K. Jung Doctor of Humane Letters Dec., 2018
Thomas F. Schlafly Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2018
Vincent C. Schoemehl, Jr.  Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2018
Robert Norfolk Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2018
Freeman A. Hrabowski Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 2018
Gary F. Bell Doctor of Arts and Letters Dec., 2017
Tessa Trelz Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2017
George Paz Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2017
Thomas Hoerr Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2017
Rosalie Brasch Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2017
Bill McClellan Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2017
Sara E. Foster Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2017
John Vatterott Doctor of Humane Letters Dec., 2016
Judge Brenda Stith Loftin (Ret.) Doctor of Humane Letters Dec., 2016
Norman Eaker Doctor of Humane Letters Dec., 2016
Faith Sandler Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2016
Chris Krehmeyer Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2016
Leanna Depue Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2016
Don Marsh Doctor of Arts and Letters Aug., 2015
Robert J. Baer Doctor of Humane Letters Aug., 2015
Maxine Clark Doctor of Humane Letters in Education May, 2015
Gladys Caines Coggswell Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2015
Robert G. Heil Doctor of Music and Technology Dec., 2014
Keith B. Guller Doctor of Commerce Aug., 2014
Elizabeth Gentry Sayad Doctor of Arts and Letters May, 2014
 Gary S. Jacob Doctor of Science May, 2014
 Patrick H. Gadell Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2014
James E. Westbury Doctor of Arts and Letters  May, 2014
Benjamin Uchitelle Doctors of Humane Letters May, 2014
Susan Uchitelle Doctors of Humane Letters May, 2014
Steven F. Schankman Doctor of Humane Letters Dec., 2013
Carol J. Valenta Doctor of Humane Letters Dec., 2013
David Hilliard Doctor of Humane Letters Aug., 2013
Nicholas Karakas Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2013
Will D. Carpenter Doctor of Science May, 2013
Harry W. Orf Doctor of Science Dec., 2012
Gary W. Stangler Doctor of Humane Letters Dec., 2012
Jean Carnahan Doctor of Humane Letters Aug., 2012
Henry Givens Jr. Doctor of Arts and Letters May, 2012
Tom Sullivan Doctor of Humane Letters   May, 2012
Patricia B. Wolff, MD Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2012
David Robertson Doctor of Music May, 2011
Rita Colwell Doctor of Science May, 2011
Sr. Mary Antona Ebo Doctor of Humane Letters Dec., 2011
Norman R. Seay Doctor of Humane Letters Dec., 2011
Michael Uthoff Doctor of Fine Arts Aug., 2010
Thomas Engelhardt Doctor of Arts and Letters May, 2010
Philip H. Loughlin III Doctor of Arts and Letters Dec., 2009
Nancy Kranzberg Doctor of Humane Letters Dec., 2009
Kenneth Kranzberg Doctor of Humane Letters Dec., 2009
Eric Schaps Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2009
Susan Salesky Rudin Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2009
Marylen Mann Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2009
Esley Ian Hamilton Doctor of Arts and Letters May, 2009
Earl Elmer Bakken Doctor of Humane Letters Aug., 2008
Martin Duggan Doctor of Arts and Letters May, 2008
Mildred Winter Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2008
Anthony (Tony) La Russa Jr. Doctor of Humane Letters Dec., 2007
Charles Thal Doctor of Humane Letters Dec., 2007
David Halen Doctor of Music May, 2007
John Lutz Doctor of Arts & Letters May, 2007
Robert Frank Doctor of Humane Letters Dec., 2006
The Honorable Wayne Goode Doctor of Laws Aug., 2006
Joe Edwards Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2006
Priscilla R. McDonnell Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2006
Allen Shopmaker Doctor of Humane Letters Aug., 2005
Helen S. Shopmaker Doctor of Humane Letters Aug., 2005
Leo Drey Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2005
Mary Ann Lee Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2005
Sandra VanTrease Doctor of Arts & Letters May, 2004
Ahmed Kathrada Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 2004
Robert R. Hermann Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 2004
William C. (Bill) Wilson Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 2004
John W. Barriger IV Doctor of Arts & Letters Aug., 2003
Martin Matthews Doctor of Humane Letters Aug., 2003
Sister Mary Jean Ryan Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2003
Robert W. Spencer Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2003
S. Lee Kling Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2003
Harriett Woods Doctor of Laws Jan., 2003
Seigo Arai Doctor of Arts & Letters Jan., 2003
Stuart Symington Jr. Doctor of Laws Aug., 2002
William Warfield (posthumously) Doctor of Music Aug., 2002
William L. Clay Doctor of Laws May, 2002
Theodore C. Wetterau Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 2002
Whitney Harris Doctor of Humane Letters Aug., 2001
David C. Darnell Doctor of Humane Letters May, 2001
Robert W. McKnight Doctor of Arts & Letters May, 2001
W. Randolph Adams Doctor of Arts & Letters Jan., 2001
Ellen Sherberg Doctor of Arts & Letters Aug., 2000
Adam Aronson Doctor of Arts & Letters May, 2000
Judith Aronson Doctor of Arts & Letters May, 2000
Alyn Essman Doctor of Arts & Letters May, 2000
Marlyn Essman Doctor of Arts & Letters May, 2000
John W. Bachmann Doctor of Arts & Letters Jan., 2000
Claude Baker (posthumously) Doctor of Arts & Letters Aug., 1999
Raymond C. Burton Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1999
Peter Fanchi Jr. Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1999
James Burke Doctor of Arts & Letters Jan., 1999
Robert Archibald Doctors of Arts & Letters Aug., 1998
Brian Mulroney Doctor of Laws May, 1998
The Honorable Sue S. Shear Doctor of Laws May, 1998
Richard C. Fleming Doctor of Laws Jan., 1998
John Hume Doctor of Laws Jan., 1998
Osborne (Ozzie) Smith Doctor of Humane Letters Aug., 1997
JoAnn Harmon Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1997
John Jacob Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1997
Bruce Coppock Doctor of Music Jan., 1997
Horace Wilkins Jr. Doctor of Humane Letters Aug., 1996
Charles MacKay Doctor of Music May, 1996
John Francis Dill Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 1996
John L. Mason Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 1996
Julius Hunter Doctor of Arts & Letters Aug., 1995
Fred L. Brown Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1995
James H. Buford Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1995
E. Desmond Lee Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 1995
Patricia C. McKissack Doctor of Arts & Letters Aug., 1994
Frederick L. McKissack Doctor of Arts & Letters Aug., 1994
Honorable Neil Molloy Doctor of Laws Aug., 1994
The Honorable Robert Young Doctor of Laws Aug., 1994
Edith Cunnane Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1994
Benjamin F. Edwards III Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1994
Charles H. Hoessle Doctor of Science Jan., 1994
Yien-si Tsiang Doctor of Laws Jan., 1994
Ronald Himes Doctor of Fine Arts Aug., 1993
Joseph R. Thomas Doctor of Humane Letters Aug., 1993
Steven Woolf Doctor of Fine Arts Aug., 1993
Lord Asa Briggs Doctor of Arts & Letters May, 1993
Alfred Fleishman Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1993
Donald M. Suggs, DDS Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1993
Eugene M. Lang Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 1993
Muriel Nezhnie Helfman Doctor of Fine Arts Aug., 1992
Helen E. Nash, MD Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1992
Colin Graham Doctor of Fine Arts May, 1992
David W. Kemper Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 1992
Marian O. Oldham Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 1992
Andrew B. Craig III Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1991
Gyo Obata Doctor of Fine Arts May, 1991
Margaret Bush Wilson Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1991
Andrew E. Neuman Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 1991
Peggy A. Neuman Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 1991
Ruth A. Bryant Doctor of Humane Letters Aug., 1990
Stanley Pace Doctor of Humane Letters Aug., 1990
Stephen Jay Gould Doctor of Science May, 1990
Robert McFerrin Doctor of Music May, 1990
Robert C. West Doctor of Engineering May, 1990
Tom K. Smith Jr. Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1990
William E. Cornelius Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 1990
Willie Mae Ford Smith Doctor of Humane Letters Aug., 1989
Emily Rauh Pulitzer Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1989
Joseph Pulitzer Jr. Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1989
Jackie Joyner Kersee Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 1989
Harvey Saligman Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 1989
Lynn R. Broeder Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1988
Richard J. Mahoney Doctor of Laws May, 1988
John R. Weber Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 1988
Sister Patricia Ann Kelley Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 1988
Katherine Dunham Doctor of Fine Arts May, 1987
Lee M. Liberman Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1987
The Rev. William G. Gillespie Doctor of Laws Jan., 1987
Daniel Schlafly Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 1987
Jack Buck Doctor of Humane Letters Aug., 1986
Ntozake Shange Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1986
Judge Ann Quill Niederlander Doctor of Laws Jan., 1986
Sanford N. McDonnell Doctor of Laws Aug., 1985
Mary Burnett Strauss Doctor of Fine Arts May, 1985
Leon R. Strauss Doctor of Laws May, 1985
Robert Hyland Doctor of Laws May, 1985
Max Starkloff Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 1985
Charles Menees Doctor of Humane Letters Aug., 1984
Stanley Frank Musial Doctor of Laws May, 1984
Richard Gaddes Doctor of Fine Arts Jan., 1984
Ben H. Wells Doctor of Humane Letters July, 1983
Katherine Gladney Wells Doctor of Humane Letters July, 1983
DeVerne Lee Calloway Doctor of Laws May, 1983
Manfred Rommel Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 1983
Howard F. Baer Doctor of Humane Letters Aug., 1982
Noah Weinstein Doctor of Humane Letters Aug., 1982
Howard Nemerov Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1982
Eric P. Newman Doctor of Humane Letters Dec., 1981
Evelyn Edison Newman Doctor of Humane Letters Dec., 1981
Leonard Slatkin Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1981
Julia Davis Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1981
Jessie L. Ternberg Doctor of Science May, 1981
Irving Dilliard Doctor of Laws Dec., 1980
Sr. Marie Charles Buford Doctor of Laws Aug., 1980
Nesby Moore Doctor of Laws Aug., 1980
Grace Bumbry Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1980
Richard Dudman Doctor of Laws Aug., 1979
Morton D. May Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1979
Marjorie Wolcott May Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1979
Margaret Drey Freund Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 1979
Theodore McMillian Doctor of Humane Letters Aug., 1978
Donald P. Ames Doctor of Laws May, 1978
Ernest Tino Trova Doctor of Humane Letters Jan., 1978
John Francis McDermott Doctor of Humane Letters Aug., 1977
Emily Hahn Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1977
Charles F. Knight Doctor of Laws May, 1976
Richard Mantia Doctor of Laws May, 1976
Margaret Hickey Strubinger Doctor of Laws May, 1975
Frankie Muse Freeman Doctor of Laws May, 1975
Lawerence K. Roos Doctor of Laws Jan., 1975
William N. Eisendrath Jr. Doctor of Humane Letters May, 1974
Theodore D. McNeal Doctor of Laws May, 1973
Sol M. Linowitz Doctor of Laws May, 1972
Roy Wilkins Doctor of Humane Letters June, 1971
J. Martin Klotsche Doctor of Humane Letters June, 1970
Leonor K. Sullivan Doctor of Laws June, 1969
Preston Estep Doctor of Laws June, 1968
Joseph P. Cosand Doctor of Humane Letters June, 1967

The University of Missouri - St. Louis Alma Mater, Heart of Missouri was composed by John Francis Dill and Diane Ceccarini. 

The distinctive academic attire of gowns, cape and hoods dates back to the 12th Century, when scholars were usually members of the clergy and wore robes similar to those of other church orders. In those days of unheated classrooms and dormitories, the gowns and hoods served a very practical purpose. Today, they identify the academic achievement of the wearer and reflect a continuous tradition 800 years old.

Both the gown and the hood indicate the degree that the wearer either holds or is about to receive. The gown for the bachelor's degree has a closed front and long, pointed sleeves. Masters wear a closed-sleeve robe with a slit near the upper arm and with the pointed part of the sleeve dangling below the arm. The doctor's hood is faced down the front with velvet and has tree velvet cross-cars on each bell-shaped sleeve. The velvet may be black, or its color may indicate the field in which the degree is taken. Graduates of some institutions may wear gowns in the color of the university which granted their degrees; e.g., crimson for Harvard, blue for Yale, bright gold for Johns Hopkins.

Hoods are not worn for the bachelor's degree. The master's hood is shorter than the doctor's and lacks it colored panels. Hoods are lined with the colors of the institution granting the degree and are edged with velvet in the color symbolic of the wearer's academic field: philosophy, dark blue; law, purple; public policy, peacock blue; education, light blue; fine arts, brown; arts, letters and humanities, white; science golden yellow; business, tan; music, pink; nursing, peach; engineering, orange; and optometry, seafoam green.

The mortar board cap came into use after the hood had ceased to be worn on the head. The tassel, worn over the left temple, is usually black, although a colored tassel may be worn to designate one's academic discipline, and the tassel on the doctor's cap may be of gold thread. Some doctor's caps are made of black velvet.

The wearing of the academic attire is one of the "rights and privileges" that accompanies a degree.