Spring commencement at The University of Missouri Rolla will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 14, in UMR’s Gale Bullman Multi-Purpose Building, 10th Street and Bishop Avenue in Rolla. UMR graduate Gary Forsee, chair and chief executive officer of Sprint Corp. in Kansas City, Mo., will deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary degree.
View streaming video of commencement, available here after event.
Approximately 700 degrees will be awarded during commencement. Dr. Bob Berry, vice president of Burns and McDonnell Engineering Co., will also receive an honorary degree, and nine alumni will receive professional honorary degrees. Professional degress will go to Dr. William Horst, Dr. Jorge Ochoa, Dr. D.W. Osborne, Walter Reed, John Sauer, Dr. Kevin Schneider, Steve Souders, George Thomas and William Webb.
People with sight, hearing and mobility impairments who are planning to attend commencement should contact UMR’s Office of Affirmative Action, Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator, at (573) 341-6314 before Friday, May 6, for the university to provide reasonable accommodations.
UMR will also host the Spring Graduation Jubilee from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, May 13, at the Havener Center on campus. The event is held to salute UMR’s graduating students and will feature student projects, departmental showcases, student organizations, entertainment, food and fun. UMR students, parents and friends of graduating students, faculty, staff, and the professional degree recipients are all invited to participate in this commencement event.
Forsee, who earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at UMR in 1972, has spent more than 30 years in the telecommunications industry. He has held leadership and management positions at Sprint, BellSouth, AT&T and Southwestern Bell. In March of 2003, Forsee left his position as vice chairman of BellSouth and returned to Sprint as its CEO. In May of 2003, he was appointed chairman of the Sprint Board of Directors.
Under Forsee’s leadership as CEO and chair, Sprint has emerged as one of the telecommunications industry’s strongest competitors. BusinessWeek magazine recognized him as one of the 19 best managers of 2004. Forsee has also been designated CEO and president of Sprint Nextel pending a merger expected to close later in 2005.
President Bush appointed Forsee to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee in 2004.
A past chairman of the National Board of Trustees for the March of Dimes, Forsee has been involved in numerous charitable and civic organizations. He is a current member of the UMR Board of Trustees and the Order of the Golden Shillelagh.
Gary and Sherry Forsee reside in Kansas City, Mo. They have two daughters.