William Woods Surpasses 1,000 Graduates in One Year

William Woods University’s graduation numbers will surpass 1,000 in a year for the first time in the university’s history when it holds its largest commencement ever Friday, Aug. 6.


A total of 426 students will graduate. Among them are 377 who will receive master’s degrees, either in business or in education. It will be by far the largest number of graduate degrees conferred since the Graduate and Adult studies program began 12 years ago.


With increased campus enrollment and the growth of the university’s outreach programs, William Woods now holds graduation ceremonies in May, August and December each year. This is the eighth year a summer commencement has been held. Each of the commencements in the past year has graduated more than 300 students; the combined total is 1,110.


Two ceremonies will be held—one at 11 a.m. and one at 3 p.m.—in Cutlip Auditorium of the McNutt Campus Center. The university will grant three associate of art, 46 bachelor of science, 75 master of business administration and 302 master of education degrees.


Students from G&AS cohorts in Columbia, Jefferson City, Fulton, Mexico, Rolla, Festus, Marceline, Ironton, Poplar Bluff, Mt. Vernon, Springfield, Cape Girardeau, Halfway and Lebanon will receive their diplomas.


In addition, approximately 70 students from the Southeast Asian island of Taiwan will graduate. William Woods has had a program of educating students from Taiwan since 1992. The university partners with an organization that specializes in overseas studies to bring Taiwanese students to Fulton for a year of concentrated studies, culminating in either bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

Aimee Sapp, an assistant professor of communication arts and the 2004 recipient of the Louis D. Beaumont Dad’s Association Distinguished Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching at William Woods University, will address the university’s August graduating class.


Sapp received her bachelor of science degree in sociology from William Woods in 1992, her master of arts degree in communication from the University of Northern Colorado in 1994 and her Ph.D. in communication at the University of Missouri in 2002. She has taught at WWU since 1998.


In addition to her teaching and advising responsibilities, Sapp serves the William Woods community in numerous ways, including acting as advisor for Woods Wire, Echoes from the Woods, Lambda Pi Eta communications honorary and Alpha Phi sorority. She is director of Freshman Advantage and serves on the LEAD committee.


A resident of Columbia, Sapp and her husband, Shannon, have three children: Coleman, 7; Clayton, 3, and Carley, 4 months.