Winter commencement ceremonies at Missouri University of Science and Technology are scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Gale Bullman Multi-Purpose Building in Rolla.
The featured speaker will be Stephen J. Owens, who was appointed interim president of the University of Missouri System by the UM Board of Curators Jan. 7, 2011, following the resignation of Gary D. Forsee.
Owens, who previously served as the university’s general counsel, is providing interim leadership for the university system until the search for a new president concludes. During this transition, Owens is working closely with other university officers, including chancellors of the four campuses, to continue pursuing the priorities and initiatives outlined by Forsee and approved by the curators.
Before coming to the university, Owens was engaged in private legal practice for 26 years with the Kansas City-based law firm of Stinson Morrison Hecker, LLP (formerly Stinson, Mag & Fizzell). His practice emphasized business litigation, collegiate sports law, contracts and administrative law. Additionally, he served as the firm’s hiring chairman; member of the firm’s board of directors and its executive committee; and as chairman of the business litigation division and its class action and complex litigation division. Prior to joining the firm, Owens served as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. William R. Collinson, United States District Court Judge for the Western District of Missouri.
Owens received a bachelor’s degree in public administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a J.D. from the Wake Forest University School of Law. He is admitted to practice in the state of Missouri; United States District Courts for the Western District of Missouri and the District of Kansas; and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and Tenth Circuits.