The 133rd Missouri Military Academy (MMA) Corps of Cadets will celebrate commencement on May 21, 2022, at 10 a.m. in Centennial Gymtorium on the MMA campus. Lawrence "Kwakou" Casselle, Chief of Staff for the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), the federal law enforcement and security bureau of the U.S. Department of State, will deliver the commencement address. Casselle is a graduate of MMA’s Class of 1993.
This year, 39 seniors and two post-grads will take part in the commencement ceremonies. The MMA Corps of Cadets annually achieves 100 percent college acceptance. The Class of 2021 earned approximately $6.5 million in college scholarships.
The 2022 commencement speaker, Casselle took over as Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security on June 10, 2021. In this role, he acts as principal advisor to the Assistant Secretary and helps manage the State Department’s largest bureau. Before that, he served as Director for Counterterrorism at the National Security Council, Executive Office of the President at the White House.
Casselle joined DSS as a special agent in 2003 and, over the course of his career, has worked in more than 70 countries, including an assignment at the State Department’s Operations Center, on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s Protective Detail, as the Branch Chief for Overseas Protective Operations with responsibility for the entire Western Hemisphere and as the Deputy Director for Counterintelligence at the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. His overseas posts included the U.S. Embassies in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Kabul, Afghanistan; Baghdad, Iraq; and as the Senior Regional Security Officer, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge’ d’affaires at U.S. Embassy Belmopan, Belize. Casselle served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army before joining the State Department.
The recipient of numerous Department of State Meritorious and Superior Honor Awards, Casselle was popularly elected to the Governing Board of the American Foreign Service Association in 2015 and was reelected in 2017.
In addition to being a proud graduate of Missouri Military Academy, Casselle holds a B.A. in political science from Hampton University and a Master of Science in national security strategy and resources from the Dwight D. Eisenhower School.
Following MMA tradition, the corps will conduct final formation on MMA’s front campus following the commencement ceremony. Baccalaureate services will take place the day before, on May 20 at 5:00 p.m. in MMA’s Memorial Chapel, and a senior banquet will be held at 6:00 p.m. on May 20 in Centennial Gymtorium. Click here for more commencement weekend details.