Graduation wraps up for MSU

Austin Montgomery
City Reporter

The Humphrey Coliseum was filled Saturday with graduates about to move onto the next chapter in life, from furthering their education or embarking on a fruitful career.

Mississippi State University held its second of two spring graduation ceremonies Saturday morning for degree candidates in the College of Business, the Adkerson School of Accountancy, the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Architecture, Art and Design.

Cornelia Griesche is one of over 2,600 students eligible for a degree this semester. Griesche finished her time at MSU with an undergraduate degree in economics and a 4.0 grade point average.

The international student—originally from a town near Munich, Germany—found MSU four years ago after being recruited for a track and cross-country scholarship.

She never made an official visit before enrolling. After arriving in Starkville, she quickly made strong bonds with other student athletes and classmates on campus.

"Being a student athlete and studying here was the best thing I could have done," Griesche said. "You meet so many people and I feel like everyone is your friend."

Without the support of friends in Starkville or her family, Griesche speculated she might have left MSU before graduating.

"I missed home but there were so many nice people here that made me feel like I have a second home and family here in Starkville," Griesche said.

She will move back to Germany in a month to start a three-month internship with Audi. While working, Griesche will help coordinate marketing efforts for the company's sports event management team.

Graduate school could also be an option after moving back to Germany, she said.

"It's a relief to be kind of free," Griesche said. "On the other hand, it's bittersweet because I really enjoyed my time here the last four years."

For Lyndsey Hopkins, graduating from MSU marks a new frontier in her life. She earned her undergraduate degree in accounting.

"I am really excited to move on with the next step in my life," Hopkins said.

The recent graduate will jumpstart her career and join Capacity of Texas in Longview, Texas on May 23.

The Saturday commencement address was given by the Mississippi Commissioner of Higher Education Glen F. Boyce. He served previously as the associate commissioner of academic affairs at the Institutions of Higher Learning and as president of Holmes Community College before joining IHL.

A lifelong educator, Boyce told graduates to exceed personal goals and strive for success, surpassing failures along the way.

"Never stop learning," Boyce said. "Never stop growing. Drive yourself beyond what you expect from yourself."

Boyce emphasized the importance of finding passion in any task, while taking time to relish the achievement of earning a higher education degree.

"In order to change the world, you have to be willing to create," Boyce said. "Bring ideas forward. Your focus must be born of courage to define your ideas. High achievement only takes place with high expectations. People who change the world are students of adversity."

MSU President Mark Keenum stressed how happy he was to participate in the graduation festivities.

The MSU graduate commended the work of students in the face of adversity. He noted the importance of valuing higher education.

"This is a true milestone in your life," Keenum said. "This is one of the best investments of your life."

The university presented an honorary doctorate of science degree to James L. Rouse. The distinguished alumnus of MSU was selected as the National Alumnus of the Year in 2012. He spent 42 years with Exxon before retiring in 2004 as corporate vice president of ExxonMobil.

Allissia Hill, a recent biology sciences graduate won't be leaving MSU right away. Hill will soon enroll in the university's veterinary medicine program to further her education.

"I can't describe how awesome it feels to graduate," Hill said.

For more information on the graduation ceremony, visit