Winter Commencement December 4

Parisi.jpgThe Central Methodist University winter commencement ceremony on December 4 will mark the end of a long and challenging journey for the 300-plus students eligible to take part.

The ceremony will begin in Puckett Fieldhouse at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 4. Graduates include students from CMU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) from the Fayette campus, and from the College of Graduate and Extended Studies (CGES).

This winter’s commencement speaker will be Dr. Joe Parisi, vice president for enrollment management at CMU. His address is titled, “The Why Journey.” Parisi has distinguished himself in every aspect of his career—as a coach, an educator, and as a senior leader, facilitating decades of unprecedented enrollment growth at multiple institutions. Parisi has also served as a consultant, assisting many nationally recognized universities.

Himself an All-American wrestler, in 15 years he coached 130 All-Americans, 28 national champions, and 21 academic All-Americans and his teams won the national championship seven times: 1996, 1997, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2009. In five of those years, Parisi won NWCA Coach of the Year honors. In addition, four of his teams were runner up to the national champions in 1995, 1998, 2003, and 2006.

Parisi has been inducted into the Parkway School District Hall of Fame in St. Louis. Parisi’s 1996 and 1997 teams were inducted into the Missouri Valley College Hall of Fame, his 2002 team was inducted into the Lindenwood University Athletic Hall of Fame, and he was personally inducted into the Lindenwood University Hall of Fame in 2015. He won the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame Achievement Award five times, and he was presented a resolution from the Missouri House of Representatives naming him a “legendary coach.” Other honors include a “Beyond the Best” award from Streetscape Magazine, the Alvin M. Francis Award in Educational Leadership, and the 2019 Corporate LiveWire Innovation and Excellence award.

Parisi has judged the Miss Missouri USA Pageant, as well as the Miss Illinois and Miss Arkansas pageants, and was selected as a judge for the prestigious Miss Universe pageant in Nassau, Bahamas.

A livestream of the commencement ceremony will be available for those unable to attend in person. Look for the link on the front page of the CMU website on December 4.

Masks will be required for all graduates and guests. Due to safety concerns, guests are asked to remain in their chairs during the ceremony and limit movement for the taking of photos.

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