Keenum: MSU graduates have the education, values to change the world

Contact: Carl Smith

An MSU graduate smiles during commencement.
An MSU graduate smiles during commencement. (Photo by Grace Cockrell)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A new class of more than 1,400 Mississippi State graduates is ready to change the world, President Mark E. Keenum told their family and friends at fall commencement ceremonies on Friday [Dec. 8].

“It’s incredible to think about how each and every one of you has the power to impact the lives of other people for good and to make this world a better place,” he said, reflecting on the university’s core values of integrity, hard work and respect for others. “With your Mississippi State education and committing your life to these values, there is nothing you cannot achieve.”

Approximately 322 master’s recipients and nine educational specialist degree recipients joined undergraduates receiving diplomas at Humphrey Coliseum. An additional 83 doctoral students were hooded Thursday [Dec. 7], the same day MSU-Meridian celebrated 84 graduates at the Riley Center.

The ceremonies marked a return to Humphrey Coliseum after spring commencement was held at Davis-Wade Stadium due to renovations to the Bulldogs’ basketball home. Graduation, Keenum said, is a “truly special memory” of students’ time at MSU.

Graduation caps at MSU commencement
More than 1,400 are new graduates at Mississippi State University. (Photo by Grace Cockrell)

“This is a joyous, celebratory occasion for all of us as we recognize the outstanding achievements of these very distinguished graduates here at Mississippi State University. As I look out over all of you graduates, I can’t help but think about the memories that you’ll be taking from your time here,” he said. “Like my youngest daughter, Torie, tells me: ‘Life—it’s all about making memories.’ And she’s right. What memories will you be making tomorrow, next week, next year, decades from now?

“Just being here today has taken tremendous courage. This is a foundation for you to grow from, to have the confidence that you need to go out and do whatever it is you want to do. Believe in yourself that you can and you will do it,” Keenum added. “My hope and prayer for all of you is that many years from now, you’ll look back over your life and reflect on all that you accomplished and realize it was your education and values—your courage and your faith—that helped you to live such a wonderful life that impacted the lives of so many.”

Keenum 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. Just this week, the university announced a record in research and development expenditures, ranking among the top research universities nationally in the latest National Science Foundation report.

Archived graduation videos are available at

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