Winter Commencement This Saturday

Clyde LearThe big moment has almost arrived for 360 Central Methodist University students who are on track to graduate in December. 

On Saturday, Dec. 8, students and their families will gather to celebrate the significant academic achievement during a Winter Commencement ceremony, which will take place at 11 a.m. in Central’s E.P. Puckett Field House. For those unable to attend, a livestream of the celebration is available. 

For graduates, faculty, and staff, a free lunch will be provided in Central’s Bergsten Dining Hall after graduation. Families who wish to eat with graduates can pay at the door.

“I am honored to recognize this year’s graduating students,” said CMU Provost Rita Gulstad. “Each year, CMU has students who complete many undergraduate and graduate programs in December. It is a wonderful sight to see.”

Graduates include students from CMU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) from the Fayette campus, and from its College of Graduate and Extended Studies (CGES).

Delivering the Winter Commencement Address will be Clyde G. Lear (’66), the retired chairman and CEO of Learfield Communications, Inc. – a company he founded in 1972. 

From Jefferson City, at a young age, Lear was fascinated by news from the Missouri State Capitol, which motived him to start Missourinet – a news division under Learfield – which now, through its 70 affiliate radio stations, keeps all corners of Missouri connected through state-wide media. Because of its success and outreach, he has won several prestigious awards.

Learfield transformed from a radio company to a marketing company in the mid-1980s, thriving and expanding over the years. Today, it is the exclusive provider of marketing services for athletic departments at 150 major institutions, owns the nation’s largest agricultural radio network, and has offices in 175 cities. It is the parent company of Learfield Sports, the leader in collegiate sports marketing.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree from CMU, Lear went on to earn a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Missouri. For thirteen years, he served on CMU’s Board of Curators, and for five years was its Chair. He is a member of the 1992 Class of Distinguished Alumni from MU, which highlighted his significant contribution to media in Missouri. He also was enshrined into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.

Lear’s greatest love is mentoring. He dedicates significant time to helping young adults grow personally and professionally, and he and his wife, Sue, use their success and resources to work toward developing outstanding executives and leaders. They have worked tirelessly for young people across the state, and were instrumental in bringing the faith-based organization, Young Life, to several high schools. The couple has three children and six grandchildren

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