More than 700 students will be awarded degrees during spring commencement ceremonies to be held Saturday, May 13, in the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center at Missouri Southern State University.

The 68th graduating class will be divided into two ceremonies and will include 704 students receiving 839 undergraduate degrees, and 23 students receiving graduate degrees. Twenty-eight students from 14 countries will number among the MSSU graduates.

The commencement ceremony for students from the School of Business, School of Education and those receiving general studies degree and applied science degrees will begin at 9:30 a.m. The ceremony for the School of Arts and Sciences and School of Health Sciences will begin at 1 p.m.

Greg Arend of Deloitte & Touche, LLP in Tulsa will serve as commencement speaker at both ceremonies.

Arend, a 1978 MSSU alumnus who graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Accounting, has worked on everything from the 2008 banking crisis to natural disasters to the biggest lawsuit in U.S. history. Arend is a results-driven leader with 35 years of distinguished service in executive and senior leadership roles with the most highly rated risk management consultancies in the world.

In recent years, the Tulsa executive has become a major force in advocating for diversity and inclusion in business. Arend, who grew up in in Monett, married his fiancé Linda during his senior year of college at Missouri Southern. The Arends are parents of a grown daughter, Lacey.

The MSSU Bookstore will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Billingsly Student Center. Graduates and their families are invited to shop for apparel and memorabilia. Bookstore purchases, including fresh-cut roses, also may be made 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.