J'den Cox Returns as A&S Commencement Speaker

A photo of J'den Cox standing in front of a US flag prior to the 2016 Olympics
Brooke Montgomery

The College of Arts and Science’s December 2019 commencement speaker is none other than wrestling world champion and Columbia native J’den Cox. Since graduating in 2017, he has excelled in the wrestling world as a two-time world champion and Olympic bronze medalist. Next, Cox has his sights on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

closeup photo of J'den Cox singing at Georgia vs MU football game 9-17-16While a student at Mizzou, Cox studied psychology and became one of the most-decorated athletes in Mizzou history as a three-time NCAA champion and four-time All-American. “My time at Mizzou meant a lot to me,” Cox says. “I learned how I wanted to carry myself, how I wanted to treat others, and Mizzou prepared me to take on the world when it came time to face it.”

In addition to his athletic accomplishments, Cox is a musician, a singer, and he’s fluent in American Sign Language. He lost most of the hearing in his left ear while still a student. Today, he spends time advocating for the hearing impaired and teaching ASL. He even posts short ASL lessons on Twitter.

When asked what it means to return and speak at his alma mater’s commencement ceremony, he responded, “It means that apparently I have one more school paper to write. But seriously, it’s an honor, and I am so grateful to have been thought of to come back and speak to these graduating students who are in the exact same place I was just a few years ago.”

Click to read a feature story on Cox from the 2016 issue of Mosaics magazine.

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