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MWSU Prepares for Outdoor Graduation

Students at Missouri Western will make history Saturday. It's the first time in nearly 40 years commencement will be held outside at Spratt Stadium.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Students at Missouri Western State University will make history Saturday. It's the first time in nearly 40 years commencement will be held outside at Spratt Stadium.

"The day was gorgeous. Of course you're always nervous because this is a big thing for you and we all wake up wondering if the day will be rainy. My graduation day was a beautiful day," said Peggy Campbell, MWSU graduate of 1980.

It's been 34 years since she graduated college and 34 years since the university held graduation at Spratt Stadium.

"I'm very excited for Missouri Western for taking it back outside where it used to be," added Campbell.

The school says they've been preparing for the day for over a year. They decided to move the ceremony to the field so graduates would have a place where all of their family and friends could see the big moment.

"We previously had them divide into two spring ceremonies indoors and the talk was to see what else can we do to incorporate traditions to maybe get the entire class together to graduate," stated Jennie McDonald,  executive administrative associate for the college.

For graduates who are apart of the class of 2014, this will be the first time ever they'll walk across the stadium's football field.

"It's very exciting to be apart of that class that we're starting all of these new traditions," said Kelsey Houser, a graduating senior.

The classes of 1979 and 1980 held commencement  ceremonies at the stadium but never used the actual field. Moving the graduation back to the stadium is apart of new traditions the university hopes to create and continue in the future.

"A cannon shot will be at the very end of the ceremony starting the celebration. We've arranged for an airplane to fly over with a congratulatory banner," added McDonald.

In case of rain, the graduation will be postponed until later in the day. If the rain continues, students and their families will attend a reception inside.

The ceremony will be available to stream from the university's website.

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