More than 1,700 graduates to receive degrees from Mizzou

University officials will award honorary degree to Michael Golden, freedom of the press champion and retired executive vice chairman of The New York Times Company.

Dec. 8, 2021
Contact: Sara Diedrich, 573-882-3243,

The University of Missouri will soon be celebrating the accomplishments of 1,767 students with more than 1,920 degrees at MU’s winter commencement ceremonies. University officials also will honor Michael Golden, a nationally and internationally recognized journalist and publisher, with an honorary degree, the highest honor the university awards.

“The University of Missouri prides itself in producing well-prepared graduates who will be the next leaders in their chosen professions,” said Mun Choi, president of the University of Missouri. “We know our graduates will leave here today trained to tackle the grand challenges of the world, offering innovative solutions that they first cultivated while students at Mizzou. We look forward to their continued success.”

During commencement weekend. MU will award 1,928 degrees, including 1,373 bachelor’s degrees, 431 master’s degrees, 98 doctorates, nine law degrees, 16 education specialist degrees and one medical degree. Some students will be receiving more than one degree. There are 423 online students, who come from 45 states and 22 countries, and will be graduating this weekend.

The doors will open one hour ahead of the ceremony, and the public is invited. Learn more at  Things to know about the December 2021 commencement.

“It is always an honor to watch our graduates receive their diplomas, knowing that they are entering the competitive global job market with unmatched skills,” said Latha Ramchand, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. “Congratulations to our graduating Tigers. We know you are well prepared to take on the world and succeed.”

Golden, a businessman and publisher, will receive his honorary degree at the Missouri School of Journalism ceremony. He has been described as a champion for press freedom during an era of controversy surrounding the news media.

Schedule of Ceremonies

Friday, Dec. 17

  • Trulaske College of Business
    • 1 p.m. – Hearnes Center
    • Speaker: Ralph Hill, chairman and chief executive officer of ETX Energy, LLC
  •  School of Health Professions
    • 2 p.m. – Jesse Auditorium
    • Speaker: Carly Bailey of Otterville, Missouri, who is graduating from MU with a Bachelor’s in Health Science with an emphasis in rehabilitation sciences
  • School of Engineering
    • 4 p.m. – Hearnes Center
    • Speaker: Craig Hoeferlin, MU alumnus, vice president of Operations Services and Safety Management Systems at Spire
  • Missouri School of Journalism
    • 6:30 p.m. – Jesse Auditorium
    • Speaker: Jon Halvorson, MU alumnus, global vice president of Consumer Experience at Mondelēz International
  • Graduate Degrees: Doctoral, Education Specialist, Master’s
    • 7:30 p.m. – Hearnes Center

Saturday, Dec. 18

  • Honors College
    • 8:30 a.m. – Jesse Auditorium
    • Speaker: Steve Keller, director of Missouri Scholars Academy and MU associate professor of chemistry
  • College of Arts & Science
    • 11 a.m. – Hearnes Center
  • Sinclair School of Nursing
    • 1 p.m. – Jesse Auditorium
    • Speakers: Justina Yevu-Johnson, MU graduate student in nursing, and Than Drage, MU undergraduate student in nursing
  • College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
    • 3 p.m. – Hearnes Center

ROTC Commissioning of Officers

  • Air Force ROTC
    • Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021
    • 11 a.m. – Crowder Hall Vestibule
  • Army ROTC
    • Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021
    • 9-9:45 a.m. – Crowder Hall, 2nd Floor Foyer
    • Speaker: Lt. Col. Tara Bradley, MU professor of military science and leadership
  • Naval ROTC
    • Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021
    • 4-6 p.m. – 2501 Leadership Auditorium
    • Speaker: Capt. David Dry, MU alumnus and professor of naval science

For more information on the commencement ceremonies and Columbia accommodations, please visit:

Michael Golden biography

Michael Golden has lived a life dedicated to the public’s right to know as a journalist and publisher.

Golden graduated from Lehigh University in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and again in 1974 with a master’s degree in education. In 1978, he earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and later received a Master of Business Administration from Emory University in 1984. While at Emory, he achieved membership in the national honorary business fraternity.

Equipped with both reporting and business skills, Golden was poised to launch his career at The New York Times, where he served in various roles. From 1984 to 1996, in addition to several other positions, he worked as a production manager, executive vice president, general manager and publisher for the company’s magazines, including Family Circle, McCall’s, Child and Tennis. He was publisher of the International Herald Tribune from 2003 to 2008, and from 2009 to 2011, Golden was president and chief operating officer of the company’s Regional Media Group. In 1997, Golden was appointed executive vice chairman and elected to the company’s board of directors, serving on the board until 2017.

Since retiring in 2016, Golden has continued to lead in the journalism field, both across the country and around the globe. He is currently the chairman of the board of directors for the International Center for Journalists, a nonprofit dedicated to raising journalism standards. In 2017, he became board president of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers. Golden also serves or has served on the boards of The Associated Press and News Media Alliance, as well as a childcare agency called Graham Windham. The agency, based in New York City, helps children and families through initiatives like youth coaching, mental health services and community-based centers.

Golden returned to the Missouri School of Journalism in 2008 to participate in the school’s centennial celebration and meet with journalism students. He returned again in 2013 as a recipient of the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service, recognizing him for using management practices to sustain and promote excellence in journalism. While visiting the university to receive the award, Golden presented a lecture to journalism students about the future of The New York Times and delivered an analysis of the state of American journalism.

In 2017, he and Carolyn Greenspon accepted the 2017 Kellogg Family Enterprise Leadership Award from Northwestern University in recognition of their family’s leadership of The New York Times, which is now in its sixth generation.

Throughout his career, Golden has been described as a champion for press freedom during an era of controversy surrounding the news media. He has committed his life and work to upholding journalistic standards and using them to center people and address society, its injustices and its path forward.

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