The free event featured outdoor field games and activities, including an inflatable obstacle course, a mechanical bull and other amusements. Graduates enjoyed BBQ, drinks, a live DJ and photo booth opportunities to capture the memorable event.
Assistant Director of Student and Young Alumni Engagement Arianna Gardner, along with her colleagues on the Alumni Relations team, spearheaded Grad Bash. “When students start their college experience at MSU, they attend an event called Bear Bash, which introduces them to the university. Conversely, Grad Bash serves as a bookend experience for students. It was the last time the Class of ’23 gathered on campus for an event as students. We wanted to throw them a party to celebrate their accomplishments and introduce them to the Alumni Association’s programs,” explains Gardner.
During the spring commencement in 2023, Missouri State awarded an impressive 2,901 degrees. Grad Bash honors this significant milestone with an event that marks the transition from student to alumni. It also provides an opportunity for graduates to give back to their alma mater. Graduates who made a senior class gift of $20.23 to an area of their choice received a limited edition MSU Grad Bash commemorative mug and a special donor cord to proudly wear at commencement.
“Future graduates should attend Grad Bash because it’s truly a celebration for them and everything they’ve worked toward,” adds Gardner. Upon graduation, all students who receive their degree become members of the Alumni Association. With no required dues, the Alumni Association provides MSU graduates with an accessible way to stay connected to the university.
The Missouri State Alumni family spans the globe with over 146,000 living alumni. Graduates are Bears For Life, and the Alumni Chapter network serves as a support system and resource for alumni, friends and students. It offers personal and professional development opportunities that ensure Bears thrive beyond campus. The network also provides ways to support the university through giving, volunteering, mentorship and advocacy.
The new tradition of Grad Bash encourages the continued sense of belonging that students cultivate throughout their MSU experience. “We hope that next year’s event will be even bigger and better,” adds Gardner.
For more information about the Missouri State Alumni Association and how to get involved, fill out the volunteer interest form.