406 Graduates to Be Recognized at May Commencement

Columbia, Mo. (May 3, 2005) — The Missouri School of Journalism will recognize 406 graduates at its May commencement ceremonies that will begin at 5:30 p.m., Friday, May 13, in the Hearnes Center. Graduating students should plan to arrive by 4:45 p.m. to allow time to fill out paperwork and line up for the processional.

Bill Eppridge
Bill Eppridge

The doctoral degree will be awarded to seven students; 70 will receive the master’s degree, including the second student to earn the degree online.

Of the 328 undergraduate candidates, 99 studied strategic communication; 73, broadcast; 59, news-editorial; 20, photojournalism; and 77, magazine. There are 134 graduating seniors, or 41 percent, receiving minors.

Overall 119 graduating seniors, or 36 percent of those graduating, will be recognized with Latin honors. These students have at least a 3.5 grade point average for their last 60 graded credit hours.

The School’s top 38 graduates will be inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha, a journalism honorary society founded at the Missouri School of Journalism in 1910 with the goal of uniting students of exceptional achievement from the nation’s leading schools of journalism and mass communication. They include doctoral candidate Yoonhyeung Choi. Master’s degree candidates are Ingrid Christina Ahlgren, Mariana Sabina De Maio, Eric D. Dick, Sarah Katherine Farebrother, Sara M. Gettys, Elizabeth Gill, Elizabeth M. Hendrickson, Sun A Kim, Allyson Corinne Longueira, Alexandru Cristian Lupsa and Erin Foote Marlowe.

KTA undergraduate inductees are Susan Achurch, Megan Elizabeth Alexander, Sara Elizabeth Bondioli, Bryan Kyle Clark, Jennifer Maria Dulin, Emily M. Egel, Kellie R. Foster, Lisa Marie Fryer, Laura Rose Hammargren, Kristin Elizabeth Hayden, Claire Dalton Kellett, Tracy Carolyn Lee, Tom Long, Sean McDonnell, Allison Leigh Mackey, H. Zachary Ottenstein, Elizabeth A. Page, Kyle Palmer, Sarah Elizabeth Rebholz, Troy Schnelle, Amy Elizabeth Smith, Matthew R. Talhelm, Blythe A. Terrell, Elizabeth C. Washburn, Lori Jane Yount and David C. Yunker.

Photojournalist Bill Eppridge, BJ ’60, will be the graduation speaker. A staff photographer with LIFE magazine from 1964 until the weekly folded in 1972, he is now a staff photographer with Sports Illustrated. His work has appeared in numerous publications including National Geographic, Paris Match, Epoca, Stern and The New York Times Magazine. Eppridge photographed one of the most famous images in photojournalism, that of a busboy cradling the head of Senator Robert Kennedy after he had been assassinated during the 1968 presidential campaign. An exhibit of his photographs of the Beatles’ first U.S. visit has been traveling around the United States for the past three years.

Zachary Ottenstein
Master of Ceremonies:
Zachary Ottenstein,
BJ ’05

The Master of Ceremonies will be Chicago native Zack Ottenstein. A broadcast news major, he has worked at KOMU-TV8 as a reporter and anchor. Ottenstein placed seventh in the Hearst National Broadcast News Competition for his reporting. He also has worked as a reporter, copy editor, and teaching assistant for Missouri Digital News, the School’s state capitol news bureau. Ottenstein recently finished writing his first book, The Freshman Survival Guide, which will be available to Missouri freshman next fall.

The Student Speaker will be Matt Telthorst. Born and raised in Jefferson City, Mo., Telthorst will graduate magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in advertising. He has served as an intern in the MU Athletic Department’s Marketing Department. A member of the MU Honors College, Telthorst plans to move to Chicago to pursue his career.

Further information about the commencement ceremonies is available from the MU Commencement website.

Text of Commencement Speech

Matt Telthorst, BJ ’05
May 13, 2005

Good evening fellow graduates, faculty, honored guests, family and friends.

Matt Telthorst
Student Speaker:
Matt Telthorst, BJ ’05

Well guys, first of all, congratulations. Most of us have waited four years for this moment. Some have waited five. I know a lucky few who even got to spend six years here at MU. But no matter how many semesters it took, we all made it. All of us should be very proud today to graduate from one of the world’s best journalism schools. And we have earned it, because our major comes with a few extra challenges.

Some of us have spent the last few years dodging cars at the intersection of 8th and Elm and explaining over and over again that the Missourian and Vox are not college publications. Others have been working long nights at KOMU engulfed by the smell of its barnyard neighbors. We have fought off looming deadlines, crashing computers, and the relentless stream of Dr. Bentley‘s e-mails.

But I had one last challenge before graduating. I had to find a way to put the last four years into words. And I’ll admit it; I was having a difficult time. Luckily, as I was collecting some unopened textbooks to sell back to the bookstore last week, I found an old journal of mine. Coincidentally, most of the entries deal with my time here at the J-school. Looking through it brought back a lot of memories, some of which should be familiar to everyone here.

My First Day at Mizzou: I took a self-guided tour of the Journalism school today. Hmmmm…Fisher Auditorium seems like a bland lecture hall, decorated in the 1950s with poor acoustics. Oh well, I’m sure I won’t have too many classes in there. Some good news: There are two huge parking lots across from the J-School, and several smaller ones. Glad to see parking will never be a problem.

Sept. 1st, 2002: Today was a nice day so I decided to cut class and take a nap on the Quad. My J-200 TA looked out the window, called my cell phone, and told me my butt had better be in class in two minutes or I would be writing a term paper on the history of the inverted pyramid. I think one of the great things about the J-School are the personal relationships that develop between professor and student.

First Day of Second Semester, Sophomore Year: Today I had my first J-105 class. News Writing 101. The class, which past students would only speak to me about in a whisper. The class my Dad, J-School ’77, still won’t mention by name. I have visions of doing hard-hitting, investigative real journalism that will bring down the corrupt and change our community.

The Next Day: I am assigned to write a story on all the crazy squirrels overtaking the campus. I contemplate changing sequences…photojournalism seems fun.

The Next Week: My J-105 TA informs me that merely putting quotation marks around a sentence does not make it an actual quote. She then proceeds to question the credibility of my exclusive interview with the Squirrel King. I change my sequence to advertising.

Oct. 11th, 2003: I settled down to watch my buddy Mike do the 5 o’clock news. He does pretty well for his first time on camera. Of course, it did take him three tries to find the correct camera to look into. And he seemed to be wearing an awful lot of make-up.

Last Day of Class, Spring Semester: Myself and three friends, all from different sequences in the J-School, have lunch together. I begin to explain the problem I was having using the magnetic lasso tool because it wouldn’t go around my drop shadow. My friend in the broadcast sequence, Lauren, is complaining about forgetting to white balance that morning and keeps muttering something about corncob pipes. Ricci, our magazine friend, tries to tell a story about folios, decks, tracking. Meanwhile, Eric, who writes for the Missourian, is on the phone with his editor trying to get an AC for his nut graph. I begin to think that being in the J-School alone should fulfill Mizzou’s foreign language requirement.

Finals Week: Today I called the post office and had them forward all my mail to the Walter Williams computer lab, since that’s now where I spend all my time. Oh, except when I need to eat. Because I would never, ever bring food or drink inside the lab.

Sept. 19th, 2004: Removed protein, carbohydrates, dairy, fruits and vegetables from the four food groups. Replaced them with Shakespeare’s pizza, vending machine Cheetos, Chipotle burrito bols, and Red Bull. Lots of Red Bull.

First Day of Thanksgiving Break: Spent 15 minutes explaining to my mother that I spent my free print quota the first week of school printing off a week’s worth of Com Law notes, and that is why there is a $25 charge on the University bill. And of course I spent $800 at the bookstore on academic supplies. What else could it be?

Dec. 2nd, 2004: I sent an innocent e-mail to my friend, Laura, asking about the weekend. Accidentally sent it to her while she was studying for an editing exam. It was sent back to me with all grammar and punctuation mistakes corrected in red. I am less than amused. Also, apparently I have never used a semi-colon correctly in my entire life.

Midterm Week: One of the computers in the lab erases my Bengal space and the jump drive I had in the computer. Nothing much is lost; just half my capstone research and my entire portfolio. I called IATS, confident they would be able to solve the problem. In between peals of laughter, I am told there isn’t much they can do. And I’m pretty sure that comment about turning the computer off and then back on again was sarcastic.

March 30th, 2005: Did some research today on the origin of the word “capstone.” Roughly translated, its Latin origins mean “hundreds of hours of your life you will never, ever get back.”

One Month Until Graduation: I call the admissions office and politely ask if I really need another upper-level Humanities to graduate. I am told that no one in the history of the world has ever gotten a job without taking at least one German Civilization class.

One Week Until Graduation: I opened my Inbox to find e-mail from Jill McReynolds with a red exclamation point next to it. Oh no, this is it. I’m not graduating. I knew I shouldn’t have tried to use working part time at K-Mart as internship credit. After my heart rate slowed, I open her e-mail. Oh, it’s nothing…they just need yet another copy of my minor form.

May 13th, 2005: Today is graduation day. I can’t believe it’s finally here. This day is full of conflicting emotions. Anxiety. Joy. Excitement. Sadness. Nostalgia. I’ve been sort of dreading this day for a while. Not because I don’t have a job, and do have mounting debt, but because college is over. It seems like I lived a lifetime in the last four years, but it all went by in ten minutes. Things sure have changed since I first came here as a freshman. The lot where I used to park illegally is now the Life Sciences Center. There is a large, bronz tiger and a business school where I used to play flag football. They paved Reactor Field and put up a parking lot. Somewhere along the way, Thursday became part of the weekend. I’ve also noticed they changed the course numbers, although most of my classmates, advisors, and professors haven’t noticed. J-105 is now called J-2100. There goes forty years of building a reputation of intimidation.

As I was writing this speech, I had plenty of time to remember how great college has been and realize what I am going to miss. I mean really miss. Not the things I claim I’ll miss, like dollar drafts at Big 12 or half price appetizers at the Berg. Or the things I complain about, but will secretly miss, like the twelve-hour workdays that didn’t even begin until 2 p.m. or the inevitable Com Law test the Friday before Thanksgiving or Spring Break.

But the big things I’ll miss. The people. The classmates I met, and the friends they became. The professors I had, and the mentors they became. Within our school and within our sequences we have become a family of sorts. We have our own language, inside jokes, and shared experiences. After a semester in the J-School, you never worried about finding a seat in class by someone you knew. You knew everyone. You studied with them, vented your frustrations with them, attended happy hours with them. They were all your friends.

I guess that will be the hardest thing to get used to. When your best friends are time zones away, instead of minutes. When the person you’ve spent hours with every week for years is now a long-distance phone call once a month. When your good friend from class becomes someone you used to know.

Graduation Day: Conflicting emotions.

It’s funny. I always knew I would look back on my tears and laugh, but I never thought I would look back at my laughter and cry.

After we dry our tears, we will see that as we look back at our days at Mizzou with fond hearts and fonder memories, we also look to the future with high hopes and higher dreams. Dreams, which will be realized due to our experience at the Missouri School of Journalism. Dreams of the prestigious few that sit in front of me today. Those whose dreams will not be ignored. Because all men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night, wake to find that it was all vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men. For they may act their dream with open eyes and make it possible.

Once again, congratulations.

Updated: April 28, 2020

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