WWU Winter Commencement to Feature Inspirational Speaker

Personal challenges are something everyone faces during their life. However, few have the strength and determination to overcome them as well as Leatta Workman, guest speaker at William Woods University’s commencement Dec. 7.

Workman has lived the story she tells of how to identify your barriers, challenge yourself to overcome your fears and value your accomplishments.

Born with severe physical disabilities, she spent a significant part of her childhood in a children’s hospital. Workman was determined to achieve her goals of owning her own business. She drew strength from her own persistence, and the support of family and friends.

Today, she has accomplished that dream. She is president of Workman & Associates Inc., a human resource development company she started in 2003 in Neosho, Mo. Before that, she served five years as executive director/CEO of the Independent Living Center, Inc., a non-profit agency in Joplin that had an annual budget of more than $17 million.

Wife and mother of five, she lives an inspirational life, driven by her desire to succeed. Workman holds a B.S. in psychology and a M.S. in human resource development. She is completing her Ed.S. in industrial education.

She served two years as vice chairperson of the Mayor’s Commission on Human Rights, and was a nominee for the Missouri Governor’s Inclusion Award in 1998. In 2000, she won honorable mention in the Missouri Governor’s Advocate of the Year.

WWU’s winter commencement ceremony and hooding of candidates for graduate degrees will be held at 7 p.m. in Cutlip Auditorium of the McNutt Campus Center. A total of 299 graduates will receive their diplomas. The combined total of graduates during 2007 is 1,152.

The university will grant six associate of art, two bachelor of art, 59 bachelor of science, 51 master of business administration, 160 master of education and 21 specialist of education in school administration degrees.

Students from Graduate & Adult Studies cohorts in Ash Grove, Blue Springs, Bowling Green, Cape Girardeau, Chillicothe, Columbia, Farmington, Fulton, Hayti, Independence, Jefferson City, Joplin, Marshfield, Montgomery City, North Kansas City, Perryville, Poplar Bluff, Sedalia, Springfield, St Louis/Chesterfield, Washington and West Plains will receive their diplomas.