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MVC to confer degrees to 245 seniors May 3/Saline County native and MVC alumnus to speak to seniors at commencement

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Missouri Valley College will confer 245 degrees at its commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 3, at Gregg-Mitchell Field on the MVC campus, according to a news release from the college.

The 2008 graduating class is the 119th class to graduate from MVC. Including spring 2008 graduates, MVC will have conferred 8,597 degrees since 1889. Baccalaureate begins at 11 a.m. and commencement begins at 2 p.m.

Rural Saline County native and Missouri Valley College alumnus Thomas G. Dyer will be the 2008 commencement speaker.

Dyer earned a bachelors degree in 1970 at MVC and master's degree and Ph.D. in 1972 and 1975 at the University of Georgia. Dyer is university professor and vice president for instruction emeritus at the University of Georgia.

He continues his research program and teaches one semester per year.

According to the University of Georgia Web site, this honor is reserved for UGA faculty members who have had a significant impact on the university in addition to fulfilling their normal academic responsibilities. This impact may be in the areas of policy development, teaching, curricular change, innovative programs or academic leadership.

Dyer is the author of four books, "Theodore Roosevelt and the Idea of Race" (Louisiana State University Press, 1980; 1992); "To Raise Myself a Little: The Diaries and Letters of Jennie, a Georgia Teacher, 1851-1886" (University of Georgia Press, 1982); "The University of Georgia: A Bicentennial History, 1785-1985" (University of Georgia Press, 1985); and "Secret Yankees: The Union Circle in Confederate Atlanta" (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999, 2001).

"Secret Yankees" won the Bell Award, the Harwell Prize, and two Georgia Author of the Year Awards. It was a History Book Club selection and a Choice magazine academic book of the year (1999). Johns Hopkins University Press submitted it for both a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award.

MVC President Bonnie Humphrey is excited that Dr. Dyer is speaking at his alma mater.

"Thomas Dyer has had an amazing career in academia," Humphrey said. "He has served on multiple prestigious committees at the University of Georgia and also nationally. His lifetime of work in higher education is truly inspiring and the fact that the foundation of his incredible career was laid in the undergraduate program here at Missouri Valley College should be very inspiring to our current Missouri Valley students."

Bryan Berlin, 1975 Marshall High School alumnus and 1979 MVC alumnus, will speak to seniors at baccalaureate.

After working in production agriculture for several years, he completed an apprenticeship as pastry chef/confiseuer in Kansas City including training in Switzerland for a year.

Berlin completed a master of science degree in human service agency management in 1997 at Valley in conjunction with Lindenwood University. He served as MVC Alumni Association president from 1995-1997 during which time the first Alumni Directory was published.

He has been a founding member of the Nicholas-Beazley Aviation Museum since 2002. He and his wife, Barbara Ann (Bradford), serve as executive managers of the Martin Community Center.

The couple manage a family farm in addition to working full time at Central Missouri AgriService LLC. Bryan is a member of the First Presbyterian Church where he serves as elder.

Earl Wellborn, chief academic officer, will present two students with the Charles L. Bacon Distinguished Service Award.

MVC President Bonnie Humphrey will recognize MVC faculty and staff members at the annual faculty and staff recognition banquet at 6 p.m., May 2, in the Ferguson Center R. Wilson Brown Room on the MVC campus. The President's Staff Excellence Award winner and the John McCallum Excellence in Teaching faculty award winner will be announced.

In case of inclement weather, baccalaureate and commencement ceremonies will be held in the Ashford Gymnasium.

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