Springfield native Brad Pitt had a message Monday for the 2020 graduating class of the largest university in his hometown.
“Hi everyone,” he started, in a video message. “Brad here from quarantine with a shout out to the graduating class of Missouri State University.”
Pitt, a Kickapoo High School graduate, acknowledged the global coronavirus pandemic has created unusual circumstances for the Class of 2020. They spent the final weeks of their spring semester under stay-at-home orders, largely finishing work online.
They will not have an in-person commencement ceremony until October or December.
“It must be very strange doing this in these trying times but know we’re rooting for you,” Pitt said in the message. “Our money is on you to make this world a better place. And we wish you all the best in your future endeavors.”
He ended with a direct message to graduates: “So, you did it. You made it. Enjoy. Congrats, again, and think big.”
A week ago, Elizabeth King, an assistant professor at MSU made a plea to Pitt posted on Twitter. She appealed to his “Ozarks roots.”
“I’m reaching out to you because I’m feeling wild and why not. I’m hoping you can send a message of support for our 2020 grads at Missouri State,” King said. “As you know, graduation is clearly not what students anticipated and there is a lot of disappointment rolling around here in Springfield.
“And I think you could help, right? We love you. Everybody loves you.”
In a video message posted Monday evening, MSU President Clif Smart told Boomer: “I was really proud of all of our faculty and staff who sent literally hundreds of video congratulations to our seniors.”