Joplin, MO (SNS) – More than 630 students will be awarded degrees during Spring 2016 commencement ceremonies to be held on Saturday, May 14, in the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center at Missouri Southern State University.

The 66th graduating class will include 620 students receiving 789 undergraduate degrees, and an additional 13 receiving graduate degrees. Twenty-three students from 15 foreign countries will be among the graduates.

A ceremony for the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Health Sciences will be at 9:30 a.m. Students from the School of Business and the School of Education, as well as those receiving degrees in general studies and applied sciences will attend the 1 p.m. ceremony.

The keynote speaker will be David Haffner, the former chief executive officer and board chair for Leggett & Platt Inc.

A native of Carthage, Mo., Haffner attended Missouri Southern from 1970-72 as a pre-engineering student with an emphasis in mathematics and physics. While at Southern he was also a member of the varsity football team.

He earned his engineering degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1974.

Haffner joined Leggett & Platt in 1983 as staff vice president of operations. He was named Executive Vice President in 1995, and President and Chief Operating Officer in 2002. He served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from 2013 until his retirement in 2015.

The MSSU Bookstore will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Billingsly Student Center. Graduates and their families are invited to shop for apparel and memorabilia before or after the ceremonies.

Bookstore purchases also may be made at a Spirit Store located near the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center entrance during commencement for customer convenience.

KGCS-TV will provide live coverage of the ceremony, and will stream it on the university’s website. The station is available on local cable systems, including Cable One, Mediacom and Suddenlink. DVD copies will be available for purchase.  For more information, contact Judy Stiles at 417-625-9777.

-WWW.MSSU.EDU-