739 to Receive Degrees at Southeast’s Fall Commencement


U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt to Present Address


CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Dec. 3, 2012 – Southeast Missouri State University will hold fall commencement exercises at 2 p.m. Dec. 15 in the Show Me Center.

Receiving degrees will be 739 students – 532 undergraduates, 192 master’s degree students and 15 students receiving specialist degrees. Six undergraduate students will be recognized for earning 4.0 grade point averages.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt will deliver the commencement address.

An Honors Convocation will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the Show Me Center to honor 135 undergraduates, 54 receiving master’s degrees and 12 receiving specialist degrees. Dr. James Stapleton will present the Honors Convocation address. Stapleton is the executive director of Southeast’s Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and an associate professor of entrepreneurship at Southeast. He is also the 2012 recipient of the University’s Faculty Merit Award and the 2012 Provost’s Research, Instruction and Development for Excellence (PRIDE) Award.

Among the undergraduate students honored at the Honors Convocation, 18 students will graduate summa cum laude, 35 will graduate magna cum laude and 82 will graduate cum laude. The required undergraduate grade point average for graduating summa cum laude is 3.9 to 4.0. Students graduating magna cum laude must earn a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 to 3.89. Students graduating cum laude must earn a grade point average of 3.5 to 3.74.

Graduate students participating in the Honors Convocation must have achieved at least a 3.9 grade point average.

In addition, the Jane Stephens Honors Program will recognize 10 students who are graduating as honors scholars. 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.

The honor society of Phi Kappa Phi will recognize 35 graduating members during the commencement exercises. Phi Kappa Phi is the oldest international honor society, having been established in 1897. Southeast 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.

Phi Eta Sigma also will honor 51 graduating members. Phi Eta Sigma is a national scholastic honor society that recognizes high scholastic achievement during the first year of college and offers leadership and scholastic 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.

Also graduating will be 11 members of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society for college students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni. Students inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa are juniors, seniors and graduate students who are in the upper one-third of their class academically and who have demonstrated achievement in one of the following five areas: scholarship; athletics; campus and community services, social and religious activities, or 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.

The Southeast Brass Quintet will perform during the commencement ceremony and will accompany Magda Salem as she sings “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the “Alma Mater.” Salem, of Cape Girardeau, is a candidate for a Bachelor of Music Education with a major in vocal music.

Those in attendance at the December 2012 graduation ceremony will hear the commencement address delivered by U.S. Sen. Blunt, who, over his career has served as a public servant, university president and teacher. Blunt, was elected by the people of Missouri to the U.S. Senate in 2010. He is a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations; the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation; the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; and the Senate Rules and Administration Committee. He serves as ranking Republican on the Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies. He is also ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation and Export Promotion.

Less than one year after he was sworn into the Senate, Blunt was chosen by his colleagues to serve as a member of the Senate leadership as the vice chairman of the Senate Republican Conference. He also serves as a member of the Senate Republican Whip Team.

Blunt served from 1996 to 2008 as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He was elected by his colleagues to serve as house majority whip and Republican whip three times.

Before serving in Congress, Blunt was a history teacher and a county official and, in 1984, he became the first Republican elected as Missouri’s Secretary of State in more than 50 years. He served four years as the president of his alma mater, Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo., the institution from which he earned a Bachelor of Arts in history in 1970.

Blunt is a member of the Smithsonian Council for American Art and is a trustee of the State Historical Society of Missouri.

Blunt is married to Abigail Blunt and has four children: Matt Blunt, Missouri’s 54th governor; Amy Blunt, an attorney in Kansas City, Mo.; Andy Blunt, an attorney in Jefferson City, Mo.; and Charlie (age 8). Blunt has six grandchildren: Davis Mosby, Ben Blunt, Branch Blunt, Eva Mosby, Allyson Blunt and Brooks Blunt.

For families unable to attend the Honors Convocation or commencement ceremony or who wish to preserve the moment, a DVD copy of either event may be ordered by contacting Dr. Jim Dufek at (573) 651-2484. The commencement ceremony will also be streamed live online at http://www.semo.edu/commencement. Those visiting this site should then click on the link for the live webcast.