May 16, 2015
SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 16, 2015 — Drury University awarded degrees to 543 graduates at its spring commencement ceremonies today. There were 261 undergraduate degrees and 28 graduate degrees conferred at the traditional Day School ceremony, and 266 degrees conferred during a ceremony for the College of Continuing Professional Studies. Some students earned multiple degrees.
In addition, the University conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters to Will Keim, motivational speaker and author whose books include Keys to Success in College and Life. Dr. Keim has spoken to more than 2 million students on 1,000 college campuses in all 50 states. He has been an integral part of Drury’s first-year student orientation program for more than a decade, providing inspiration and encouragement to incoming freshmen as they embark on their college journey.
Keim told the graduates that he was diagnosed with cancer last year, and that fact gave context to a memorable speech about making the most of one’s life and career. He also said it was the first time in his long speaking career that he had ever addressed a group of students both at the beginning and end of their college experience.
Keim commended the graduates on joining the ranks of those with a college degree, and reminded them that only about 7 percent of the world’s population has earned such an honor. He also lauded the well-rounded liberal arts education that Drury had given them, saying that professional schools and employers “want people like you – people who can think and who can get along with people different from yourself.”
He also urged today’s graduates to do five things: think analytically, feel empathy for others, have hope for the future, act to help others in need and to love themselves. The last request is not about narcissism, he said, but rather about self-confidence and combating negativity. It’s difficult for others to love you if you aren’t comfortable with who you are, he said.
“All you need to do is leave Drury University with your degree in one hand and your self-esteem in the other – and look out, world,” he said.