Look for heavy traffic to continue today (Friday) and throughout the weekend in Columbia, especially near the Mizzou campus. University of Missouri graduation ceremonies begin this afternoon and continue through Sunday afternoon.
Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau spokeswoman Megan McConachie says most Columbia hotels are completely booked for tonight and tomorrow night.
“If you or someone you know are still looking for hotel accommodations in Columbia for this weekend, you can call the city contact center at (573) 874-CITY and they’ll let you know who it appears still has some rooms available,” McConachie says.
More than 5,800 Mizzou students will receive their degrees this weekend, with 4,400 of those being bachelor’s degrees. The first ceremony is at 1 today at Mizzou Arena, for the College of Education and Human Development.
The College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Engineering, Sinclair School of Nursing and Missouri School of Journalism also graduate today or tonight.
Ms. McConachie encourages you to give yourself extra time on the road, and to expect waits at restaurants and stores.
“If you’re trying to go somewhere, it may take a little bit longer to get there and maybe a little longer to get a table at your favorite restaurant. But it’s all in the benefit of our community (Columbia) and to celebrate those who are graduating from Mizzou,” says McConachie.
All 50 states and 45 countries are represented by this weekend’s graduating class at Mizzou. McConachie tells 939 the Eagle that the ceremonies have a ripple effect on the local economy.
“You know when tourists come to town they have a lot of different experiences. They go out for that celebration dinner, they might buy a graduation gift and then they fill their car with gas before they go home. So that supports a lot of local jobs, a lot of local small businesses and large businesses,” she says.
Mizzou will also honor world-renowned neurosurgeon Amy Heimberger with an honorary degree this weekend. The Rolla native is known for her work in developing treatments against brain cancer.