More than 150 MSU-Meridian graduates prepared to ‘do great things’ as Bulldog alumni

Contact: Lisa Solliethree african american graduates in caps and gowns with diplomas

STARKVILLE, Miss.— Approximately 153 Mississippi State University-Meridian graduates are ready to do great things in their lives and help mold the 21st century, MSU President Mark E. Keenum said during spring commencement ceremonies.

Noting the challenges students have overcome to earn their degrees, Keenum also highlighted graduates’ potential to impact their communities with the knowledge and traits learned while pursuing higher education.

“You persevered, you moved forward, and you stayed committed to your dream,” Keenum said during MSU-Meridian’s May 12 ceremony at the MSU Riley Center. “You are ready for this next step in your life. You are ready for graduate school, medical school, law school, or starting that new job and a career. Having this degree will afford more opportunities to grow and advance in your career.

“You are a product of this 21st century,” Keenum added. “In the decades to come, you will see and experience some amazing things. This century belongs to you, and we’re counting on you to do great things moving forward as a Mississippi State Bulldog.”

Keenum, a three-time MSU graduate with degrees in agricultural economics, served as the speaker for this spring’s commencement ceremonies. The former Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has guided the university to unprecedented heights, and his interest in international food security has strengthened the university’s contributions to global economic sustainability. He has led MSU to record growth in enrollment, capital improvements and fundraising.

“We all depend on other people to help us in our life journey,” Keenum said. “As you go forward in this world, you will realize that even more so. With your core values of integrity, hard work, and respect for all people –—and with your degree from Mississippi State— there is nothing you cannot achieve that you set your mind to.”

Associate Vice President and Head of Campus Terry Dale Cruse applauded graduates and said the Class of 2022 is one of the largest in the local campus’ history, including a record number of future educators.

MSU-Meridian’s spring 2022 class of 153 graduates includes 35 honor graduates and seven Riley Scholars. The graduating Riley Scholars include Montana Fason of Collinsville, Chloe Gavin of Quitman, Tricia LaBiche of Meridian, Caelan Martin of Philadelphia, Riley Oubre of Newton, Anniston Pope of Meridian and Ashley Yudt of Bailey. Oubre also earned the distinction of being named a Stephen D. Lee Scholar for maintaining an overall 4.0 grade-point average throughout her college career.

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