703 Students to Participate in Fall Commencement

Photo of Morley Swingle

Morley Swingle, Cape Girardeau County prosecuting attorney, will present the commencement address. Swingle is a successful prosecuting attourney and author.

(View a larger image of Morley Swingle.)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Dec. 2, 2005 – Seven hundred three students will participate in commencement exercises Dec. 17 at Southeast Missouri State University.

Morley Swingle, Cape Girardeau County prosecuting attorney, will present the commencement address during exercises scheduled for 2 p.m. in the Show Me Center. Participating in the ceremony will be 589 undergraduate and 114 graduate students. An Honors Convocation is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. in the Show Me Center, during which 122 undergraduate and 66 graduate students will be honored. Dr. Alberta Macke Dougan, recipient of the 2005 PRIDE award and professor of history and interim chair of the Department of Middle and Secondary Education at Southeast, will present the Honors Convocation address.

Leading the class of undergraduates are seven students with perfect 4.0 grade point averages. They are:

• Kendra Anderson of Jackson, Mo., who will graduate with a bachelor of science in nursing degree.

• Amy Dewrock of Cape Girardeau, Mo., who will graduate with a bachelor of science in business administration degree with a major in accounting.

• Chelsea Grohmann of Red Bud, Ill., who will graduate with a bachelor of science in education degree with majors in social studies education and middle school education.

• Rachel Keller of Essex, Mo., who will graduate with a bachelor of science in business administration degree with a major in marketing.

• Ashley Myer of Jackson, Mo., who will graduate with a bachelor of science in business administration degree with a major in accounting.

• Brett Price of Jackson, Mo., who will graduate with a bachelor of science in business administration degree with a major in marketing and a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish.

• Emily Zimmerman of DeSoto, Mo., who will graduate with a bachelor of science in business administration degree with a major in management.

Two honors scholars will be recognized in the graduating class. They are Meghann Humphries of Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Brett Price of Jackson, Mo. To be recognized as an honors scholar, students must complete 24 hours of honors coursework, six of which are at the senior level, and maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.25. Honors scholars also must complete a senior research project.

Forty-four members of Phi Kappa Phi also will be recognized during commencement exercises. Phi Kappa Phi is the oldest international honor society, having been established in 1897. Southeast first chartered its Phi Kappa Phi chapter in 1992. The charter is only extended to colleges and universities meeting the society’s rigorous standards, and is open to men and women in all academic fields who have demonstrated excellence of scholarship and integrity of character.

Graduating seniors who rank in the upper 10 percent of their class; juniors who rank in the upper 7.5 percent of their class; and graduate and professional students who have a graduate grade point average of 4.0 and have an outstanding undergraduate record are eligible for consideration.

In addition, four members of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society for college students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni, will graduate. Students inducted in Omicron Delta Kappa are juniors, seniors and graduate students who are in the upper one-third of their class and who have demonstrated achievement in one of the following areas: scholarship; athletics; campus and community service, social and religious activities, and campus government; journalism, speech and the mass media; and creative and performing arts. The society is designed to recognize those who have exhibited a high standard of leadership and effectiveness in collegiate activities, to bring together student leaders from all sectors of collegiate interest; and to bring together members of the faculty and the student body on a basis of mutual interest and understanding.

Also graduating will be 30 members of Phi Eta Sigma. Phi Eta Sigma is a national scholastic honor society that recognizes high scholastic achievement during the first year of college and offers leadership and scholarship opportunities. The Southeast chapter was established in 1984. Students inducted into Phi Eta Sigma attained at least a 3.5 grade point average on a four-point scale during their first semester or year at Southeast.

The Southeast Student Brass Quintet, a group composed entirely of students, will perform during the commencement ceremony. Singing the National Anthem and the Alma Mater will be Erika Beasley of Cape Girardeau, Mo., who will graduate with a bachelor of music degree. Dr. Alberta Macke Dougan, recipient of the 2005 PRIDE award and professor of history and interim chair of the Department of Middle and Secondary Education at Southeast, will serve as grand marshal.

Among the undergraduates participating in the honors convocation, 27 will graduate summa cum laude, 27 will graduate magna cum laude, 67 will graduate cum laude and one will graduate with honors in associate degrees. The required undergraduate grade point average for graduating cum laude is 3.5 to 3.74. Students graduating magna cum laude must earn a grade point average of 3.75 to 3.89. Students graduating summa cum laude must earn a grade point average of 3.9 to 4.0. Graduate students participating in the Honors Convocation must have achieved at least a 3.9 grade point average.

The commencement speaker, Morley Swingle, is a lawyer and author. He has prosecuted thousands of cases, including 64 murder defendants. He has tried more than 120 jury trials and written dozens of law journal articles and law book chapters. He has taught criminal law at seminars for police officers, lawyers, judges and law students across the country. He has appeared on the “Oprah Winfrey Show,” and cases he has prosecuted have been featured on “Court TV,” “Dateline,” “Forensic Files” and “Arrest & Trial.”

His first book, “The Gold of Cape Girardeau”, an historical novel, combines buried treasure, murder, a courtroom battle, steamboating and the crisis of the Civil War in Southeast Missouri. In November, it won the 2005 Book Award from the Missouri Humanities Council for increasing “understanding and appreciation of Missouri’s history and culture.” It was also nominated for the 2002 Michael Shaara Award for excellence in Civil War fiction. His second book, a nonfictional look at the job of the American prosecutor, a combination of humor, true crime, legal analysis, autobiography and tribute to Mark Twain, has been accepted for publication in 2006. The sequel to “The Gold of Cape Girardeau” is expected to be published in 2007. His favorite writers include Mark Twain, Elmore Leonard, Roald Dahl, Patrick O’Brian, Tony Hillerman, Louis L’ Amour and Carl Hiaasen.

He attended the University’s Campus School and Cape Central Junior High School, Crystal City High School, and the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in English and the Juris Doctor degree.

Swingle and his wife, Candy, are the parents of two daughters, Olivia and Veronica.