The Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations stayed busy this spring keeping up with Missouri Southern’s graduates, showing support for Lions at work, on the court and elsewhere, and honoring those who paved the way for the generations of students who followed in their footsteps.

 Alumni were on hand to help send off the men’s basketball team as they prepared for their quarterfinal match in the MIAA Tournament.

Food and drinks were served two hours before tipoff at the Kansas City Downtown Mariott, and those on hand wished the team well as they departed for the game.

Southern Social, held April 3, was a fun-filled night for ladies that raised funds for scholarships offered by the Alumni Association. The event featured 20 themed tables, dinner, a silent auction and fashion show.

 Alumni employed in the healthcare field were honored during recent appreciation events at Mercy Joplin and Freeman Health System, while the School of Education took center stage during a MOSO Monday event on April 30.

 An after-hours event for St. Louis alumni was held on May 4, with a family outing at the St. Louis Zoo the following day.

Lee Elliff Pound, director of Alumni and Constituent Relations, said the variety of activities reflects the diversity of Missouri Southern’s graduates.

“We provide a variety of programs for our alumni to maintain this really important relationship,” she said. “We serve a wide variety of constituents, and our efforts to make sure they remember how important they are to their alma mater reflects that.”

 Keeping that “connection for life” is also reflected during Spring Commencement ceremonies – where the front row has become a place of honor. The Alumni Association hosted the second annual Golden Grads event as part of Spring 2018 Commencement on Saturday, May 12.

Alumni from MSSU and the former Joplin Junior College (Classes of 1939 through 1968) are invited to attend Golden Grads each year.  Participants are given special medallions to wear, as well as golden gowns.

The day begins with a continental breakfast in the Ralph L. Gray Alumni Center. The Golden Grads then take a bus to the commencement ceremony in the Leggett & Platt Center, where they are seated together in the front row.

“We’ve loved having our Joplin Junior College graduates join us, so we’ve made this an annual celebration,” said Pound. “Our JJC alumni are an integral part of the foundation upon which Missouri Southern was built, and this is one way in which we can honor them.”

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