Grads prepare for Heartland commencement ceremonies - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Grads prepare for Heartland commencement ceremonies

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Heartland universities are bustling with moms, dads and grads preparing for commencement ceremonies.

This afternoon, 1,333 Southeast Missouri State University students will receive their degrees at the Show Me Center.

Honor-graduate ceremonies will take place 10:30 a.m.. The remaining graduates will don their caps and gowns later in the day for a 2 p.m. commencement.

Gary Downing, chief executive officer of Insight Pharmaceuticals, will deliver the keynote address. Downing is a SEMO alumnus, and currently manages a company worth more than $220 million.

More than 3,600 Southern Illinois University grads will also line up to walk the stage Saturday in Carbondale at the SIU Arena. The university breaks up its graduation events by department. The first of three commencement ceremonies gets underway at SIU at 9 a.m. Ceremonies will also take place at 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

This year's keynote speaker is Frank Abangale, Jr. He is a former con-artist and check forger turned security expert whose story hit the big screen with the 2002 film "Catch Me If You Can" where he was portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio.

Murray State University students will also become college grads today. Commencement Exercises get underway at 10 a.m.  in the CFSB Center.

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