The University of Missouri–St. Louis marked a milestone this spring as it celebrated its 100,000th graduate.

That’s big news for St. Louis, where more than 73 percent of UMSL’s alumni have chosen to live, work and better their local community and economy.

Congrats to our lucky 100,000th graduate and the entire Class of 2018!

UMSL’s 100,000th graduate, Marco Pipoly, BS Psychology, crossed the stage during the College of Arts and Sciences’ ceremony at 2 p.m. on May 12. View Marco's initial reactions captured in this video by the St. Louis Post Dispatch following the ceremony. 

You can also watch the live stream replay of the big announcement and be sure to share the news of this historic milestone with St. Louis.

“Nobody produces more St. Louis success stories than UMSL. I’m so proud of this university and all its graduates who make its mission complete in filling St. Louis and beyond with diverse talent and studied minds.”  – Chancellor Tom George

Marco Pipoly, UMSL’s 100,000th graduate, on path to career in neuroscience

PipolyMarco Pipoly came to the University of Missouri–St. Louis already certain of what he wanted to do next: pursue a PhD.

The steps he’s taken since his arrival – from his coursework and extensive undergraduate research in psychology to his involvement in a neuroscience pipeline program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health – have all been directed toward that end.

“Everything I’ve done has been really checkmarks,” Pipoly said. “I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing, which has been great for me.”

His efforts have paid off in admission into the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience at the University of Iowa and a fellowship from the National Science Foundation.


Meet Alicia Friedrichs, UMSL’s 50,000th graduate, from the Class of ’97

Alicia Friedrichs never imagined her dual University of Missouri–St. Louis degrees in education and Spanish would eventually lead her to work as an interpreter and translator on mission trips with varied organizations and individuals.

But since becoming the university’s 50,000th graduate in 1997, Friedrichs’ passion for language, learning and helping people has taken her around the world.

Alicia and her husband, David, will return to campus to help UMSL mark the next milestone – its 100,000th graduate – at a commencement ceremony on May 12. Friedrichs hopes the special graduate finds equal fruitfulness and purpose in their degree.

“When you get an education, I think you have a responsibility to help others,” said Friedrichs, who waits with anticipation to find out who the lucky 100,000th will be. “Whether they’re a future doctor, psychiatrist, teacher or business person, I hope they help others and follow through on their dreams.” 


Alicia Friedrichs

50th Reunion Class

Where it all began: UMSL's Class of ’67

A circuit judge, a social studies teacher, wife to a mayor, a scientist in an engineering lab and a man that sold Christmas trees.

Those who make up the University of Missouri–St. Louis’ first graduating class went on to many different adventures in life, but they all share one adventure in common – taking a chance on a fledgling university.

In the years following UMSL’s formation in 1963, campus consisted of a handful of eager faculty members and a former golf course clubhouse that served as its primary structure. The university was, for many, the affordable option that allowed them access to higher education – a need UMSL continues to serve today.

We caught up with some of members of UMSL’s first graduating class during the inaugural 50th Golden Anniversary Celebration.



A Look at the Class of 2018

Engineering grad Nicholas Wulfert launching new career at Boeing

Several undergraduate opportunities from Boeing helped Nicholas Wulfert land a job at the local aerospace giant. He’ll start later this summer after earning his degree in electrical engineering.

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Chemistry graduate makes her mark researching beer

Lorna Espinosa

Lorna Espinosa, BS Chemistry, will be spending some time at Urban Chestnut Brewing Company after commencement – and not just for a celebratory beer.

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‘Lavender’ ceremony celebrates LGBTQ graduates

Lavender Ceremony

As president of PRIZM, the queer-trans-straight alliance at UMSL, it was Jessica Kehle's duty to hand out the stoles to each of the five participants of the first-ever Lavender Graduation on April 30.

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Ares Boira Lopez gets the most out of her UMSL experience

Ares Boira Lopez, Tritons women’s golfer and this year’s homecoming queen, graduated with a BA in psychology with plans to pursue a master’s at Illinois State University.

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Criminology grad Brian Rainey looks to build on undergraduate research in PhD program

Brian Rainey earned his bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice with distinction and has been admitted into UMSL’s nationally ranked PhD program.

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UMSL confers more than 1,500 degrees during six ceremonies


Speakers included Bobby Norfolk, an internationally-known storyteller and teaching artist; Anthony Thompson, founder, chairman and CEO of Kwame Building Group; Sharonica Hardin-Bartley, superintendent of University City Schools; and Thomas Schlafly, chairman of The St. Louis Brewery and senior counsel at Thompson Coburn, LLP.

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