Southeast Missouri State University will celebrate the graduation of 626 fall graduates in two ceremonies on Dec. 18, 2021. Ceremonies will be in the Show Me Center.
“I’m so proud of the hard work and dedication of these students and how they navigated the challenges they faced over the last year and a half. Their determination, drive and resilience are remarkable,” said Southeast President Dr. Carlos Vargas. “Faculty, staff and I are excited to celebrate their success with their families and friends at the festivities this weekend.”
In total, 171 students will graduate with honors. Students who have earned Latin Honors, Academic Distinction in the Department of the Major or completed the Jane Stephens Honors Program, will have that information displayed below their name on the videoboard as they cross the stage during their commencement ceremony, as well as printed in the program. Also recognized during the ceremony will be students graduating with a cumulative 4.0 grade point average and Honors Scholars. Details of students receiving these honors is below.
The schedule and speakers for each ceremony are:
Saturday, Dec. 18
- Harrison College of Business and Computing
- College of Humanities and Social Sciences
- Holland College of Arts and Media
- The Honorable Rob Vescovo Speaker of the House, Missouri House of Representatives
- College of Education, Health and Human Studies
- College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
- Linda Heitman, Professor of Nursing, Department of Nursing, Southeast Missouri State University
Family and friends who cannot attend the ceremonies in person can view a live stream of all ceremonies. The link will be available at semo.edu/commencement.
Commencement by the Numbers
- 626 total graduates
- 499 undergraduates
- 103 master’s graduates
- 23 specialist candidates
- 91,157 total all-time Southeast graduates
- 171 students graduating with honors
- 36 graduating summa cum laude (3.9 to 4.0 cumulative grade point average)
- 50 graduating magna cum laude (3.75 to 3.89 cumulative grade point average)
- 85 graduating cum laude (3.5 to 3.74 cumulative grade point average)
- 14 (UG) students graduating with a cumulative 4.0 grade point average
- 663 total all-time graduates with a 4.0 grade point average
- 11 Honors Scholars
Rob Vescovo, Speaker of the House and State Representative District 112, Missouri House of Representatives
A native of St. Louis, Rob Vescovo is a Missouri State Representative, businessman and entrepreneur. He was first elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in November 2014 to represent Missouri’s 112th House District and has been re-elected three times. In January 2021 he was elected Speaker of the House for the Missouri House of Representatives. Prior to his election to the Missouri House, Speaker Vescovo served as a Director for the Jefferson County Port Authority from 2011-2015.
During his time in the Missouri House of Representatives, Speaker Vescovo has sponsored or supported legislation impacting business, law enforcement, education, foster care, adoption services and a host of causes and issues. Additionally, Speaker Vescovo was Majority Floor Leader from 2017-2020 and he has served on numerous committees, such as Civil and Criminal Proceedings, Government Efficiency, Economic Development, Fiscal Review, and Local Government, among others.
Beyond his public service, Speaker Vescovo has had a successful twenty-plus-year career as a businessman and entrepreneur working in business development, management, logistics and sales. He has participated in numerous community activities including, coordinating efforts to address food insecurity, assisting in efforts to provide school supplies to teachers and students, and serving as an assistant Cub Master.
Speaker Vescovo attended Southeast Missouri State University, studying public relations, and was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity. He currently resides in unincorporated Jefferson County with his wife, Amanda, and their five children.
Linda Heitman, Professor of Nursing, Department of Nursing, College of Education, Health and Human Studies
Dr. Linda Heitman joined Southeast Missouri State University in 1988 and has 24 years of collegiate teaching experience. In addition to other classes, she teaches critical care nursing and nursing research. Heitman’s research and publications focus on cardiovascular nursing and organ transplantation. She has served on the Faculty Senate and various committee appointments. She is also a reviewer for the “Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.”
A graduate of Barnes Hospital School of Nursing in 1972, Heitman went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Southeast in 1984. She earned a Master of Science in Nursing (Research) in 1987 and a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing in 2001, both from Saint Louis University. She also holds a Document of Recognition from the State of Missouri as an Advanced Practice Nurse, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Health.
Heitman serves on the Executive Advisory Board of Saint Louis University School of Nursing. She also serves on the Medical Board of Mid-America Transplant in St. Louis and is their educational advisor. Heitman has served as a consultant to the critical care units of Southeast Hospital and Saint Francis Medical Center.