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UAFS 2017 Spring Commencement – Morning Ceremony

UAFS 2017 Spring Commencement – Morning Ceremony


Chancellor Beran, I declare the morning ceremony
of the ninety-seventh commencement of the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith convened. Please remain standing. Distinguished faculty,
administrators, and staff of the university, graduates, parents, family, and friends, welcome
to the morning ceremony of the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith 2017 commencement. Let us take just a moment of reflective silence to consider the importance of this celebration in our lives. Please remain standing and direct your attention
to the arena floor. The colors are presented by the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith
Reserve Officer Training Corps. Please join UAFS student Kody Goad as he leads
us in the singing of our national anthem, accompanied by the University of Arkansas
– Fort Smith Symphonic Band. Will all men please
remove their caps. [Star Spangled Banner] Men may replace their caps. Please be seated. I’d like to introduce those seated on the
platform. Please hold your applause until all have been
introduced. I’d like to introduce the administration, academic deans, and others from the
University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. Dr. Georgia Hale, provost and vice chancellor for academic
affairs. Dr. Lee Krehbiel, vice chancellor for student affairs. Dr. Mary Lackie, vice
chancellor for university advancement. Bradley Sheriff, vice
chancellor for finance and administration. Dr. Edward Serna, chief of staff and associate vice chancellor for external funding. Dr. Margaret Tanner, associate provost and director of
graduate studies. Dr. Ron Darbeau, dean, College of
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Dr. Paul Hankins, dean, College of
Communication, Languages, Arts, and Social Sciences. Dr. Carolyn Mosley, dean, College
of Health Sciences. Dr. Ashok Subramanian, dean,
College of Business. Dr. Ken Warden, dean, College of Applied Science and Technology.
Dr. Norm Dennis, the senior associate dean, College
of Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, who will confer the degrees on those
graduating with engineering degrees. Major Jason Hogue, assistant professor of military
science. Eric Smithson, chair-elect of the Alumni Advisory Council. Wayne Womack, registrar.
Please let’s give these folks a round of applause for the work they do every day. I’d also like to introduce members of the
University of Arkansas – Fort Smith Board of Visitors.
Judge James O. Cox, Mr. Jerry Glidewell, Dr. Sandy Johnson, Mrs. Eileen Kradel, and State
Representative George McGill. Please give them a round of applause. We have some special guests with us today.
And I always recognize one of these folks at every
graduation, and that’s my wife, Janice Beran. And we have also with us Fort Smith City
Administrator Carl Geffken and vice mayor of Fort Smith Kevin Settle. Seated before you are members of the faculty
who represent the academic departments of the
university upon whose recommendation candidates for degrees are presented. Faculty
members, please rise and be recognized. Thank you. I have a short message to the graduates this
year, and my message is simple: If the degree you’re getting gives you a sense of accomplishment
and security, you need to rethink how you define both those terms in the twenty-first
century in which we live. What you need to know
about the degree you are getting is that it serves two purposes, both of which have a
short shelf life. First, whether you are receiving
a master’s degree, a baccalaureate degree, or an
associate degree, you have gained knowledge in some general areas that have contributed
to developing your critical and creative thinking
skills, problem solving ability, and an educated and more sophisticated view of the world.
The other part of your studies focused on some
specific skill sets and specific knowledge bases, important to having competence in a
particular area or a particular major. So the educational
goal the faculty had for you was to prepare you
for a career or graduate school on the one hand and prepare you for leaving that career
to seek another on the other hand. Just take a moment
to think about this. I’m finishing my sixteenth year as a president or chancellor, my eleventh
year here at UAFS. How many major corporations that many of you would love to
work at now even existed sixteen years ago? Do
you think that the people whose diplomas I signed sixteen years ago are still in the
business or industry in which they entered when they graduated?
Based on my own non-scientific review of students who I know who graduated then, I
can tell you that very few are still working at the
same job and the majority not even in the same industry or if they are at the same job,
they are doing things completely different than what
they were doing when they entered that job. You
don’t have the time to relish your sense of accomplishments and security for long. This
weekend, you need to celebrate what you’ve done. Go take a picture with your loved ones
out by Numa. Enrich the economy of Fort Smith
with an indulgent trip to a restaurant. Relax tomorrow, because you’ve earned it. But Monday,
Monday, you need to be on the quest for relevance in a world changing at astounding
speed. Staying relevant will take continual learning.
Staying relevant will mean continued skill development. Staying relevant will require
that you remain open to new ideas. My final point:
The one ability you should have developed during
your educational journey is to know the difference between opinion and fact. Unfortunately
our country and the world in general is having a hard time being able to discern the difference
between the two. Just because somebody says something, even if that person is famous or
allegedly an expert, what they say isn’t automatically fact. My hope for you is that you’ve learned
from your educational and intellectual inquiry here at UAFS, that everyone has a right to
their opinions, but everyone does not have a right to their own facts. I wish every one
of you a rewarding and fulfilling life journey. Now go out and make the world a better place. It’s now my pleasure to introduce Eileen Kradel,
a current member of the UAFS Board of Visitors. Ms. Kradel is a recently retired
nurse and attorney, actually most recently an attorney,
with over 28 years of experience in the legal field, recently as the vice president of compliance
at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and prior to that as vice
president of compliance and patient safety at what is now Mercy Medical Center in Fort
Smith. As a nurse and nurse educator, Ms. Kradel
has a variety of experience in the nursing field,
including hospitals, physician offices, and in classroom and clinical settings. Her most
significant work as a healthcare educator came in the
childbirth setting where she helped to change both
the care and the culture of the childbirth experience for both the region and the state
into one that embraced fathers and mothers in a participatory
experience at birth. Mrs. Kradel has a long history of community civic engagement,
from her work as president of the Interfaith Community Center Board to Southside PTA, she
moved into educational politics and was elected to the Westark Community College Board
of Trustees in 1992, serving as president of
the board twice, and then moved into the UAFS Board of Visitors when Westark became the
University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, a board on which she still currently serves. She has
served the University of Arkansas continuously for
25 years as a trustee of Westark or as a member of
the UAFS Board of Visitors. Mrs. Kradel has a juris doctorate degree from the University
of Arkansas School of Law and a degree in biology
and psychology from the College of the Ozarks and is a registered nurse. Please welcome
Mrs. Eileen Kradel. Thank you, Chancellor Beran. I can’t tell
you how excited I am to be here with my long, long
history, starting with Westark. I took classes, I taught, I really have embraced the importance
of Westark and the University of Arkansas – Fort
Smith to this community, and actually to the region and more and more to the state and
surrounding states. Chancellor Beran has already welcomed the people on the dais and all of
you, and the most important group, and I want to
say, “Wow, awesome,” are the 2017 graduates of the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. Dr. Beran talked a little bit about the future,
and I’m going to talk a little bit about the past. Graduation, as Dr. Beran reminded me a couple of weeks ago, is about the graduates. But
inevitably, speakers end up talking a little bit about their life experiences. I went to
my children and said, “OK, guys, what should I be talking
to a diverse crowd of graduates that go from young to much older?” And my youngest son
said, “Well, Mom, rap. Rap. They’ll listen to you
rapping.” And I said, “I’m not sure that would be a great idea.” So I’m going to keep my
rapping in the closet and just talk about some other
things. But that made me realize that a lot of my
jokes are dated. I connect to Seinfeld. I connect to a lot of older things, Perry Mason, and
so when I make a joke I will try to give you a minute
to figure it out. Or you can laugh anyway. I love a
little laugh. So, every speech, I think, that is given at graduation, contains cliches,
contains quotations from famous people. The words “journey,”
you already heard Chancellor Beran talk about life’s journey. And so it should be
no surprise that I too will have cliches. I will have
quotations. And I will talk about life’s journey. So no surprise there. There are three general
areas that I’m talking about, and some of them are things that you know that you already
know, some things that maybe you should know, and
then some things that I know. And as we move forward, I’m going to start out with something
you need to know and that is my speech is finite.
It’ll be just about ten minutes. So if you just looked at your neighbor and said, “Are
we there yet?” I will tell you what I’ve told my children:
I promise you we’ll be there soon, OK? So we’ll
get started first with a story about my first twelve years. And I can see a few eyes rolling.
What do we care about her first twelve years? But
the thing about my first twelve years is they were
so critical to who I am today and I am sure if some of you sit in your seats and think
about your first twelve years. In my first twelve years,
I grew up in Syracuse, New York. I was the oldest of
eleven children, and we were very very poor. I lived in a housing project, we were on welfare, I stole penny candy from the corner store, I
beat a girl up once, I had a little gang, half of them
had been to reform school, I beat her up, believe it or not, just because she looked
rich. And that’s a pretty frightening story. My mother
was married several times, so I was fearful all the
time. Would we have food? Sometimes we didn’t. Would I be beat up by my posse, my gang?
And would any of those strange men that my mother married or brought into our home cause
any problems for me? So those were some of the things that were going on in my first
twelve years. But at the very same time that those
things were going on, where I was very concerned about food and very fearful, I started my
school career in kindergarten, like most of us, and my
teacher, whose name I remember to this day, Mrs. Miller. Mrs. Miller hugged me, she patted
me on the back, she encouraged me to read, she bought me shoes when I needed shoes, and
all throughout my elementary career the teachers,
the teachers were one hundred percent women at that time, at least in my school,
and those were women who graduated from college and were taking a step that was very very
different for women at that time. I’m pretty old. So those women were my inspiration. They cared for me. They were brilliant. And so at one
point I had to start making a decision, and one of
the important messages that I want to give to you is
you and you alone are in charge of those decisions about your life. I had to decide whether I
could keep going with my gang, end up in what we called reform school, a couple of those
guys in my group had been to reform school, or
do something else. And with the encouragement of
the teachers I got all A’s to please them and when Leo Derosier’s famous for saying,
“When you reach a fork in the road, take it,” I took
the fork and realized that it was my liberation was
education. My liberation was education. In order to leave all that gave me so much fear,
I needed to continue with education. So that
was my choice. So now I’m going to move into the
first quote. I’m going to quote E.L. Doctorow. Many of you know him. He’s an American author.
You might be familiar with “Ragtime.” And he has wrote about authors and about how it is
for authors when they’re trying to come up with
ideas for their novels. And what he said is, and I
think this applies to life, is “Life is like driving a car at night with headlights – with
the headlights on. You can only see a little ways in front
of you, but you can do the whole journey that way.” I had never stopped to think about that.
But think about it. We can’t see the future. We
can see the road ahead of us just so far, and that’s the piece we need to take care
of. What are we going to do with that piece of road that
we can see? And you can do the whole journey that
way. I thought those words were pretty profound. So, things that I know: I know that life has
unexpected challenges, and there are a lot of roadblocks. And you’ve already experienced
those, I’m sure. Roadblocks can come in many sizes and shapes. And I think that college
may be rather than about a career, it may be about
preparing you for how to deal with those unexpected challenges. So my stories this
morning come from my life, but they’re not really
connected. They’re separate. But in the end I think the message remains the same. So now
I’m going to tell you a little story about nursing
school. And I went to a Catholic school of nursing in
Syracuse, New York, and nuns primarily were my teachers. They had put away the rulers
that they whacked you over the knuckles with at
this stage, but they were still tough, and if you
made mistakes you were out. There was no question, no lawsuits, no anything. You were out if
they decided that that was what was going to happen. So one morning I went to my assignment
and I read the doctor’s order for the patient I was assigned, and the doctor’s order said
“S-S-E-3-H.” So I’m standing there a little while,
and one of the things you learn when you are in nursing
or a physician, there are a lot of abbreviations that everybody understands. And there are
some abbreviations you should never use. When I figured
out that was a soap suds enema, and the three H’s were High, Hot, and a Hell of a lot. Think
about that. Now we use fleets. So I went to the
treatment room and I thought, how high is high? If I put the tube in too far, will she
throw up the soap suds? I don’t know. This is all new
to me. How hot is hot? And luckily there was a
seasoned nurse who told me the temperature and to fill up the container and put the soap
in, then I went and gave the patient the enema.
Your first enema, guys … It really … It’s tough to
describe. But I think I vomited after I did it. So I went to the nurses’ station, and
in the olden days we actually wrote notes instead of having
everything on computer. So I wrote my nurse’s notes and went on about my visit. About five
minutes later, the head nurse, and for those of you
who are old enough think Nurse Ratchet from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” Nurse Ratchet
came to get me and said, “You get to the nurses’ station right away. Dr. Austin wants to talk
to you.” And I thought, OK, I’ve only been at
this for a few months and already I’m going to be on
my way out. So I got to the nurses’ station and Dr. Austin said, “I just wanted to see
the person who could write two pages about the results
of an enema.” And I squeaked out an answer to
him, and I said, “Dr. Austin, I love adjectives.” So what is the moral to that story? That was
the first time I realized that physicians were
people. In the Catholic school of nursing, when a
physician entered the nurses’ station, we all stood up. And that is every time. And
you accompanied the doctor everywhere, and it
was very much they were up here and we were down here. And I learned that day with Dr.
Austin taking the time to see someone who could
write a lot of adjectives and understood that he was a person with the same goal as I had,
which was to take care of the patient. I also learned that you can be colleagues with your
bosses. That you can work alongside for the same goal. You respect your boss but understand
they are people just like you. And Dr. Austin became my mentor throughout the rest of my
nursing school. He brought me in for extra procedures, always talking, always explaining.
So remember, even in the toughest moments, and
you might be afraid, and I really was afraid, that
we are all people and pretty much the same the world around and your opinion counts if
given in a respectful way and our bosses are due
our respect but we are also their colleagues. So the
last story I’m going to tell you is about the day I was banned from Westark Community
College campus. I was banned! And I’m a product of
the 60s so I know about being banned. And I love
that marches have come back. But I was actually banned from teaching student nurses, from
having a place to teach prepared childbirth, you heard Dr. Beran mention the prepared
childbirth classes, and from actually coming on the campus at all. So let me tell you a
little bit about that story. So when my husband and I
moved to Fort Smith we had three little kids. Many
of you know him. He’s an obstetrician and gynecologist and may have even delivered some
of you sitting out there in the audience today.
But one of the things we both believed was that
women should have a choice when it comes to one of the biggest events in your life, and
that is, how do you have a baby? And when we moved
here and I actually helped make the selection to move to Arkansas and we moved here from
New York state, after we were here a couple of
months I was doing a lot of muttering about, how did we get here? We’re in Arkansas. How
did we get here? And in the childbirth arena there
was one hospital doing most of the deliveries, and I’m going to name names. Sparks Hospital
was doing most of the deliveries. And St. Edward
at the time, which is now Mercy, only had five or six deliveries a month. And Paul,
my husband, was very much a proponent of women making
choices and fathers being in the delivery room.
No one was doing that in Fort Smith. Women were getting what is called “twilight sleep.”
They were knocked out for the labor experience.
You would yell and scream and kick, and I was a
labor and delivery room nurse, but the trick of the medication was you wouldn’t remember
later. And sometimes you didn’t even remember the birth of your baby. And guys, you were
all out in the waiting room, smoking cigarettes,
pacing, hearing screams, not knowing at all what
was going on. And that’s not that long ago. We’re talking about the mid-70s. So I started
out looking for a place to teach class. And I
talked to several people. One of the people I talked to
was Carolyn Moore, who has a long and famous relationship with Westark and the University
of Arkansas – Fort Smith. Carolyn at the time
was the head of health occupations. So I talked to
her about getting some classes started. And she was very very helpful but she couldn’t
give me any go-ahead, so I went back and went to Sister
Judith Marie Keith, who was the CEO of St. Edward, and Sister Judith was incredible.
She said, “Do whatever you want. We need to build
up our obstetrics. Have a classroom. Have two. Just go for it.” Sister Judith has always
been one of my heroes, and the nuns were back in my
life. So I got a classroom. I couldn’t figure out how
to get students because people really didn’t know about prepared childbirth classes. So
my first class, we had six couples. Two of the couples
dropped out, so I had four couples. But that was
the beginning. The classes grew and grew. We outgrew the classrooms. I went back to
Carolyn Moore and said, “You know, there are fifty
couples waiting for classes. I’m adding classes. I’ve
got some helpers. Can I hook up some way with Westark?” And Carolyn said, “Sure.” She
introduced me to David Landsburg who was head of community services, and we set up a
community service class and I got to have the old gym for my classes. So things were
going super. They were really going great. Classes
were full. St. Edward’s allowed fathers in the
delivery room. My husband had the first father in the delivery room. And however, Sparks
would not allow fathers in the delivery room, so a lot of the people were changing, a lot
of women, were changing physicians and going
to St. Edward’s so the family could participate in
the birth of their baby. So one day, and this leads up to my ban, one day a group of physicians
went to the president, then-president, of Westark, and said, “You have to get that
damn Yankee woman off your campus.” And, you know,
I didn’t know damn Yankees still existed, but
apparently I was one of them. And they threatened the president with taking away clinical
experiences from their nursing program. They said, “If you still allow her to teach student
nurses, to teach those classes, then you will not be able to bring your nurses to Sparks
Hospital for clinical experience.” Well, of course
he had no choice. I didn’t like his choice. But he had no
choice. He had to protect his nursing program. So Carolyn Moore called me, told me what
happened. I met with her. I was indignant, and I said, “Five old men can’t do that. We’re
women. Hear me roar!” And she said, “Yes, they can. And they did. And you’re out.” So
I went home, I cried, I sobbed, I called my husband
and said, “We’re moving. We’re leaving. We’re not
staying here anymore.” And he said, “But honey, we just learned how to call the Hogs.” So
there I was. He actually gave many supportive words
and reminded me that change is really really tough. And for those physicians, I was asking
them to change the way they practiced medicine, to let strangers – husbands, fathers – into
the delivery room to watch what was their realm
before, and that change had already taken place or they wouldn’t be that fearful, they
wouldn’t be trying to do those things. Well I still
wasn’t happy, but I found other places to go on
teaching, and six months later Sparks opened their labor and delivery room to the entire
family unit, and fathers were allowed in the delivery
room. So that’s one of the achievements that I
am proudest of in my hundred years of life. And it is, it’s closer there than twenty.
So one of the neat things that happened then as the years
went by, and Dr. Beran mentioned this, and that is
I had the opportunity when I graduated from law school, someone said to me, “Why don’t
you run for the Westark Community College board?”
And I sort of chuckled to myself, although I
had taken lots of classes at Westark, and – a lot a lot of classes, because I couldn’t
decide what I was going to be when I grew up – so I chuckled
to myself and thoughts, hmm, that’s sort of just
desserts, if I can get on that board after having been banned from the campus. And so
I ran and the voters of Sebastian County elected me.
And, you know, here I stand today in front of a
school that I love that has grown by leaps and bounds, the faculty is second to none,
and that was true when it was Westark. And I’m going
to finish this morning with a few words from another author. But, if you think about those
life experiences I had, the journey, you know fear
drove me through my first twelve years. Fear can be a good thing sometimes. And it taught
me that I was in charge of me. No one else was
in charge of me. I had to make the decisions about
where to go in my life and how to change my life. In nursing school I learned to work
with others. I learned that doctors were people.
For all of you graduating in health occupations, they’re people! And that was a big thing to
learn, and other bosses I’ve had, I have worked at,
again, respect and working with them as colleagues. And then through the Westark experience.
I mean, literally, I wasn’t kidding when I said I wanted to leave Arkansas. The fact
that I thought that five people could demand someone be gone
and get their way was just beyond anything I
had experienced. So the road blocks that pop up, you just figure out what’s the other path
that you need to take to get around that road block.
I am here today to tell you that. So I’m going to
finish with some words of Anne Lamott, who’s another American author, and she said, “You
want to be where your feet are. You want to be where your feet are. Feel it all, the swirl
of doom, of gratitude, of incredulous fear, of
wonder, of hate, of judgment, and of love.” So think
about it. You want to be where your feet are and feel it all. And that’s what I want to
leave you with today. You’re going forward. Take a minute,
savor, and feel it all. Thank you. Let’s give our representative who’s been here
for 25 years from Westark to UAFS, let’s give Eileen Kradel another round of applause, please. So graduates, now’s the real deal. I’m about
to give you one of these. When you open it up,
there will not be a diploma. It says if you paid all your money and you don’t owe us anything,
you’re going to get it in six to eight weeks, all right? So, as you proceed I’d like you
to follow three rules for me. First, a professional
photographer will take a photograph of all graduates as
they receive their degrees. Please do not come forward to take individual photographs
so that we may keep congestion to a minimum and allow
the audience an unobstructed view. Graduates, please remember to stop for a photograph
so that when you get your diploma cover, you will stop for a photograph. And
there’s some feet up here and I’m going to be
standing on them. And if you try to walk by me I will grab you and pull you back onto
the stage and you will get that picture. So even if
you don’t like pictures, this one, we’re all going to take.
And you’ll be glad later, not because I’m in it, but because you’re in it. Second, graduation
from the university is a happy time for all of
us. I ask that as the names of the graduates are read,
show your pride in their accomplishment with appropriate reserve and dignity. And third,
out of respect for the graduates and their families,
please remain until all graduates have been recognized and the recessional is complete.
And now I call upon Provost and Vice Chancellor for
Academic Affairs Dr. Georgia Hale to come forward to present the candidates for their
degrees. Will the candidates for all degrees from the
University of Arkansas – Fort Smith please stand. Chancellor Beran, each candidate standing before you has completed a prescribed course
of study defined by the faculty. The names of
candidates graduating in absentia are listed in the
program but will not be read. Some candidates are wearing medals as recipients of the
Academic Excellence Award as selected by faculty of their program. A number of candidates
have completed their studies with a grade point average of at least 3.6 and are identified
as academic honors students by an honors stole
which they wear. The honors status of each will
be announced as their names are called. On behalf of the faculty of the University of
Arkansas – Fort Smith, it is my pleasure and privilege
to present these candidates for the awarding of
technical certificates, associate degrees, baccalaureate degrees, and master’s degrees. Will the faculty of the University of Arkansas
– Fort Smith now stand to show concurrence. With the concurrence of this faculty and by
the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees
of the University of Arkansas System, I confer upon you your respective degrees with all of the honor, rights, privileges, and responsibilities
pertaining thereto. Faculty and students, you may
be seated. Wayne Womack, the university registrar, will now come forward to assist in the
presentation of diplomas. Just for all of you to know, this is a really historic
event today because our status changed from a
baccalaureate-granting institution to a master’s-granting institution. And we are graduating our
first group of students with the master’s degree here at the University of Arkansas – Fort
Smith. So this is like building a building. I ask Dr.
Carolyn Mosley, dean of the College of Health Sciences,
to summon these graduates for their hooding ceremony and to receive their diploma. The graduates for the Master of Science in
Healthcare Administration are led forth to receive
their degrees by the faculty marshal for the program, Dr. Wittney Jones. All Business graduates will be presented by
the name and major. Matthew Charles Stevens, Master of Science,
Healthcare Administration Julia Elizabeth Matthew, Master of Science,
Healthcare Administration Amanda N Waterbury, Master of Science, Healthcare
Administration Please join me in applauding the Master of
Science in Healthcare Administration graduates. Graduates from the College of Business are
led forward to receive their degrees by the the faculty
marshal for the college, Dr. Ahmad Rahal. Last year we lost a member of our family. Shreoshi Wright suddenly passed away in late November.
I would like to honor her memory by awarding the Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
I would like to invite her father Mr. Mire Juarez
and brother Esmire Juarez to receive her degree on her behalf. Esmire and Mr. Juarez and
members of the Juarez family, please accept our deepest condolences. Shreoshi will be
missed. Jacob Andrew Hollomon, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Finance, summa cum laude Jared Henry Needham, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Accounting, summa cum laude Nicholas O’Dell Redding, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Marketing, summa cum laude Anne Stiles, Bachelor of Business Administration,
Business Administration, summa cum laude Terri Denise Odom Guajardo, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Accounting, magna cum laude Colleen Noel Peterson, Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting, magna cum laude, cum honore Andrea J Wolfe, Bachelor of Business Administration,
Finance, magna cum laude, cum honore Scarlett Leigh Arnold, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Finance, cum laude, cum honore Kameron Faith Brewer, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Business Administration, cum laude Amanda Berenice Catano, Bachelor of Business Administration, Business Administration,
summa cum laude Khanh Hoang Do, Bachelor of Business Administration,
International Business, cum laude, international student from Vietnam Daniel Joseph Kopack, Bachelor of Business Administration, International Business, cum
laude Garrett Blake Labyer, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Accounting, cum laude Caitlyn Elizabeth Pfeiffer, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Business Administration, cum laude Kendra Sky Tucker, Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting, cum laude Emily Anne White, Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting Valerie Roberson Monday, Bachelor of Business, Administration, Accounting Brittany Hope Kleinschmidt, Bachelor of Business Administration, Business Administration Amy Elizabeth Broadway, Bachelor of Business Administration, Business Administration Chelsea Rashelholder, Bachelor of Business, Administration, Marketing Ashley Nicole Morris, Bachelor of Business, Administration, Business Administration Chandler Leigh Boatright, Bachelor of Business Administration, Finance Edward Alberto Merida, Bachelor of Business Administration, International Business Kayla Nicole Dutton, Bachelor of Business Administration, International Business Chase Patrick Haninger, Bachelor of Business Administration, Business Administration Wendy Urquilla, Bachelor of Business Administration, International Business Lauren Rae Woolsey, Bachelor of Business Administration, International Business Alma Citlali Garza Hernandez, Bachelor of Business Administration, International Business William Jordan Curtis, Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing Nigel Anthony Otero, Bachelor of Business, Administration, Marketing Angela Renee Scott, Bachelor of Business Administration, Business Administration Tyler Michael Armstrong, Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing Brittaney Alexis McCasin, Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing Austin Michael Jumper, Bachelor of Business Administration, Business Administration Andrew Fortson, Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing Hope Elaine Abernathy, Bachelor of Business Administration, Business Administration Caitlin L Kannan, Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting Ashley Denae James, Bachelor of Business Administration, Business Administration Raneisha Monae Lewis, Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing Kassandra Leigh Crowder, Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing Whitney Jones, Bachelor of Business Administration, Business Administration Kyla May Bailey, Bachelor of Business Administration, Business Administration Skylar Nicole Ross, Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing Jordan Rogers Lucas, Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing Rosa Maria Elizabeth Lopez, Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting Sally Ann Williams, Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting and Finance Jessica Nicole Green, Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting Daniel K Tu, Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting Dana McKinney, Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting David Joshua Licari, Bachelor of Business Administration, Business Administration Kylie Lynn Brown, Bachelor of Business Administration, Finance Michael H Farris, Bachelor of Business Administration, Finance Andrew Nathan Crockett, Bachelor of Business Administration, Business Administration Haley Sean Stephens, Bachelor of Business Administration, Business Administration Monika Elaine Cearley, Bachelor of Business Administration, Business Administration Thomas Robert Miller, Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing Ashley Nicole Powell, Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting Zachary Sebastian Marr, Bachelor of Business Administration, Business Administration Grant Mitchell Piechocki, Bachelor of Business Administration, Business Administration Mari Odake, Bachelor of Business Administration, International Business, international student
from Japan Alicia Nicole White, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Business Administration Sharon K Chambers, Bachelor of Business Administration,
Marketing Deidre Rogers, Bachelor of Business Administration,
Finance Monica Rose Edmonds, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Business Administration Armando Cenobio, Bachelor of Business Administration,
Accounting Joshua Andru Taylor, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Accounting RC Fredrick Sims, Bachelor of Business Administration,
Accounting Heather Ann Bedillion, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Accounting Stephanie Jane Lemmons, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Accounting Emilee Brooke Lewellen, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Accounting Allison Rose Cross, Bachelor of Business Administration,
Accounting and Finance Jessica Louise Jefferson, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Accounting Chelsea Ann Williams, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Accounting Jessica Renea Hays, Bachelor of Business Administration,
Accounting Colin Travis Bryan, Bachelor of Business Administration,
International Business Andrew Charles Haught, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Finance Dale Langston Delarm, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Business Administration JoeDan Shofner, Bachelor of Business Administration,
Business Administration Daniel Douglas Romo, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Finance Preston Harrison Talbott, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Marketing Preston James Ray Parsons, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Finance Christopher Anthony Wiand, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Business Administration Hunter Eugene Wilson, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Business Administration Carlos Fernando Garcia, Bachelor of Business
Administration, Business Administration Please join me in applauding the graduates
from the College of Business. The graduates from the College of Health Sciences
are lead forth to receive their degrees by the faculty marshal from the college,
Dr. Steve Rappeport. LaRissa Sue Parker, Bachelor of Science, Dental
Hygiene, magna cum laude Lindsey Michele Doss, Bachelor of Science,
Dental Hygiene, cum laude Brenda Fuentes Mendez, Bachelor of Science
in Nursing, cum laude Terri Leah Hocott, Bachelor of Science in
Nursing, cum laude Morgan Nicole Hollis, Bachelor of Science
in Dental Hygiene, cum laude Cindy Torres, Bachelor of Science, Imaging
Science Leadership, cum laude Debra Lynn Adams, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Nancy Jane Yang, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Mary K Waldrop, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Hannah K Jurjens, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Jennifer Michelle Graham, Bachelor of Science,
Nursing Kayla Ann Kalua, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Brett Randall Howard, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Jess D Hixson, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Alec Trajan Phillips, Bachelor of Science,
Nursing Jena Denise Ybarra, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Mallory Brooke Reves, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Sofia Del Rio, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Brittany Louise Cline, Bachelor of Science,
Nursing Angela Judith Hernandez, Bachelor of Science,
Nursing Kayla Joyce Stone, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Kayla Grace Bruso, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Leon Christopher Schuster, Bachelor of Science,
Nursing Thang Luu, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Andrew Dean Maness, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Whitney D Smith, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Jennifer Faith Work, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Anna Grace Mills, Bachelor of Science, cum honore Martin M Nunez Jr, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Rachel M Jefferson, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Khoa Thai, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Logan Quade Chronister, Bachelor of Science,
Nursing Pamela Renee Kaney, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Thao Cao, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Zorana Barron, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Veronica Jean Harden, Bachelor of Science, Nursing Dinah Maria Baker, Bachelor of Science, Dental Hygiene Rebecca Lynn Barrett, Bachelor of Science, Dental Hygiene Emily Elizabeth Gauger, Bachelor of Science, Dental Hygiene Kimberly M Bowers, Bachelor of Science, Dental Hygiene Rebecca Michelle Hendrix, Bachelor of Science, Dental Hygiene My Truong, Bachelor of Science, Dental Hygiene Becky Shoua Xiong, Bachelor of Science, Dental
Hygiene Lindsey Mae Pattermann, Bachelor of Science,
Imaging Science Leadership Jacie Renae Jackson, Bachelor of Science,
Imaging Science Leadership Ryan Scott Barbry, Bachelor of Science, Imaging
Science Leadership James Harrison Williams IV, Bachelor of Science,
Imaging Science Sonography Yabria Gabrielle Horton, Bachelor of Science,
Imaging Science Sonography Cassandra Annette Schmalz, Bachelor of Science,
Imaging Science Sonography Bianca Nichole Lafuente, Bachelor of Science,
Imaging Science Sonography Nicollette Eve Milam, Bachelor of Science,
Imaging Science Sonography Elizabeth Nicole Mason, Bachelor of Science,
Imaging Science Sonography Daria Danielle Griffin, Associate of Applied
Science, Radiography Cara Lyn Cagle, Associate of Applied Science,
Radiography Maria Michelle Elkins, Associate of Applied
Science, Radiography Sandra Truong, Associate of Applied Science,
Radiography Chad Matthew Martin, Associate of Applied
Science, Radiography Robert Van Tran, Associate of Applied Science,
Radiography Kimberly May Green, Associate of Applied Science,
Radiography Ghazal Ahmad Yasin, Associate of Applied Science,
Radiography Michael James Wiginton, Associate of Applied
Science, Radiography Casey Michele Newman, Associate of Applied
Science, Radiography Summer Kate Phelps, Associate of Applied Science,
Radiography Hannah Rose Barbry, Associate of Applied Science,
Radiography Mckenna Jenae Root, Associate of Applied Science,
Radiography Kali Breann Patterson, Associate of Applied
Science, Radiography Sara Christine Byford, Associate of Applied
Science, Radiography Timmery Michelle Adams, Associate of Applied
Science, Radiography Marye Rachel Wingfield, Associate of Applied
Science, Radiography Katlyn Renee Roper, Associate of Applied Science,
Radiography Parker Jordan Sampson, Associate of Applied
Science, Radiography Cecelia Stone, Associate of Applied Science,
Surgical Technology Anna Marie Nelson, Associate of Applied Science,
Surgical Technology Jheri Jamal Buchanan, Associate of Applied
Science, Surgical Technology Kalen Benjamin Hastey, Associate of Applied
Science, Surgical Technology Paola Landaverde Enrique, Associate of Applied
Science, Surgical Technology Evelyn Alejandra Hernandez, Associate of Applied
Science, Surgical Technology Jesus Alberto Garcia Jr., Associate of Applied
Science, Surgical Technology Cameron Daneen Spoon, Associate of Applied
Science, Surgical Technology Kimber Leigh Bennett, Associate of Applied
Science, Surgical Technology Colette Rachael Ross, Associate of Applied
Science, Surgical Technology Kelsie Kay Cline, Associate of Applied Science,
Surgical Technology BreAnna Renee Grady, Associate of Applied
Science, Surgical Technology Brittany Danielle Roberts, Associate of Applied
Science, Surgical Technology Sonya Pouy Bounkhong, Associate of Applied
Science, Surgical Technology Gwen Sayaphath, Associate of Applied Science,
Surgical Technology Please join me in congratulating the graduates
from the College of Health Sciences. Graduates from the College of Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Mathematics and the School of Education are being led forward
to receive their degrees by Dr. David Burkey, the
faculty marshal for the college. D’Lynn Muranda Hollie, Bachelor of Science,
Early Childhood Education, summa cum laude Jessica Rose Vearrier, Bachelor of Science,
Early Childhood Education, summa cum laude Tiffany Marie Hicks, Bachelor of Science,
Early Childhood Education, magna cum laude KayLee Marie Trickey, Bachelor of Science,
Mathematics with Teacher Licensure, summa cum
laude, cum honore Allyson Lee Frantzen, Bachelor of Science,
Biology, summa cum laude Bachkhoa Nguyen, Bachelor of Science, Chemistry-Biochemistry, summa cum laude Vi N Tran, Bachelor of Science, Chemistry-Biochemistry,
summa cum laude Ciara Nicole Fleer, Bachelor of Science, Chemistry-Biochemistry,
summa cum laude Daniel Lee Stacy, Bachelor of Science, Biology,
magna cum laude Emily Paige McGill, Bachelor of Science, Early
Childhood Education, magna cum laude Jessica Marisol Lemus, Bachelor of Science,
Early Childhood Education, magna cum laude Kelsey Taylor Montgomery, Bachelor of Science,
Early Childhood Education, magna cum laude Montana Lane Ruth, Bachelor of Science, Information
Technology Programming, magna cum laude Madison Lavon LeMonier, Bachelor of Science, Middle Childhood Education, magna cum laude Caitlyn Danielle Robbins, Bachelor of Science, Middle Childhood Education, magna cum laude Hayli Ruth Cole, Bachelor of Science, Middle Childhood Education, cum laude Kayla Dawn Thomas, Bachelor of Science, biology, cum laude Jaycee Rae Mayfield, Bachelor of Science, Chemistry-Biochemistry, cum laude, cum honore Bobby Brice Hill, Bachelor of Science, Biology, cum laude Ashley Nicole Woodey, Bachelor of Science, Early Childhood Education, cum laude Katie Suzanne Polk, Bachelor of Science, Early Childhood Education, cum laude Sierra Shaun Whiteaker, Bachelor of Science, Early Childhood Education, cum laude Lisa Renee Jones-Rodriguez, Bachelor of Science, Early Childhood Education, cum laude Kinsey Michelle Pennington, Bachelor of Science, Early Childhood Education, cum laude Olivia Rose Novato, Bachelor of Science, Early Childhood Education, cum laude Samuel Jackson Lisk, Bachelor of Science, Chemistry, cum laude Shane Jubal Hale, Bachelor of Science, Middle Childhood Education, cum laude, cum honore Linda Diane Trudeau, Bachelor of Science, Information Technology Programming, cum laude Alexi Berenice Cuevas, Bachelor of Science, Early Childhood Education, cum laude Ashley Kaitlyn Warren, Bachelor of Science, Biology, cum laude Abigail Kaitlyn Key, Bachelor of Science, Biology with Teacher Licensure, cum honore Priscilla Alexandria Devora, Bachelor of Science, Chemistry, cum honore Tara Lee Stepp, Bachelor of Science, Chemistry-Biochemistry Judith Armbruster, Bachelor of Science, Chemistry-Biochemistry Allie Renee Barnes, Bachelor of Science, Chemistry-Biochemistry Preston Phillip Parks, Bachelor of Science,
Chemistry-Biochemistry Gideon Vincent Long, Bachelor of Science,
Biology Alysha D Serbout, Bachelor of Science, Biology Stacey Marie Van Groder, Bachelor of Science, Biology Marzady Phate Phrakousonh, Bachelor of Science, Biology Aaron Keith Dickson, Bachelor of Science, Biology Jennifer Hobbs, Bachelor of Science, Biology Rebecca Jean Greenwood, Bachelor of Science,
Biology Tiffany Lynn McCarthy, Bachelor of Science,
Biology Samantha Shantell Kendrick, Bachelor of Science,
Biology Crissa Rae Nixon, Bachelor of Science, Biology Connor Joseph Lockridge, Bachelor of Science, Chemistry-Biochemistry Wayne Edwin Bollman, Bachelor of Science, Information Technology Networking Emily Elizabeth Schluterman, Bachelor of Science, Middle Childhood Education Paige Kathleen Turney, Bachelor of Science, Middle Childhood Education William Andrew Lovvorn, Bachelor of Science, Biology with Teacher Licensure James Edward Hobbs-Taber, Bachelor of Science, Middle Childhood Education Jessica Renae Cole, Bachelor of Science, Biology Hannah Marie Schluterman, Bachelor of Science,
Early Childhood Education Andrea Allyson Lairamore, Bachelor of Science,
Early Childhood Education Kacey Shae Proctor, Bachelor of Science, Early
Childhood Education Kelsey Elaine Waid, Bachelor of Science, Early
Childhood Education Emilee Noel Branscum, Bachelor of Science,
Early Childhood Education Jessica Katlin Brown, Bachelor of Science,
Early Childhood Education Taylor Nicole Elmore-McCollom, Bachelor of
Science, Early Childhood Education Shelbie Dawneil Hart, Bachelor of Science,
Early Childhood Education Tela Dawn Silmon, Bachelor of Science, Early
Childhood Education Charles Elliot Ruiz, Bachelor of Science,
Biology Mackenzie Elizabeth Cole, Bachelor of Science,
Early Childhood Education Christal Gilmore, Bachelor of Science, Early
Childhood Education Melissa Claire Glory, Bachelor of Science,
Early Childhood Education, accompanied by her
father, Ray Watson, assistant professor, mathematics Mikayla Brianne Rich, Bachelor of Science,
Early Childhood Education Mallory Rae Brown, Bachelor of Science, Early
Childhood Education Elizabeth Grace Seaton, Bachelor of Science,
Early Childhood Education Whitney Paige Sebo, Bachelor of Science, Early
Childhood Education Emily Prince Engelke, Bachelor of Science,
Early Childhood Education Jacob Cooney, Bachelor of Science, Biology Daniel Nicholas Howard, Bachelor of Science, Biology Payton Elizabeth Hamilton, Bachelor of Science, Biology Taylor Shea Hamilton, Bachelor of Science, Biology Taylor Michelle Grill, Bachelor of Science, Biology Brigitt Ortiz, Bachelor of Science, Early Childhood Education Farah Ihmeidan, Bachelor of Science, Middle Childhood Education Murl Nicole Wilson, Bachelor of Science, Middle Childhood Education Tanya Jerlean Douglas, Bachelor of Science, Early Childhood Education Joshua Neil Isaacs, Bachelor of Science, Information Technology Networking Chad Allen Seyfriend, Bachelor of Science, Information Technology Security Jassem Hejab, Bachelor of Science, Information Technology Security Mark A Rosenberg, Bachelor of Science, Information Technology Security Michael A Moore, Bachelor of Science, Information Technology Programming Marcus James Allen Terry, Bachelor of Science, Information Technology Programming Benjamin Israel Cuevas, Bachelor of Science, Information Technology Networking Hoang Vu, Bachelor of Science, Information Technology Programming, international student from Vietnam Brandon Matthew Langley, Bachelor of Science,
Information Technology Programming Joshua Anderson, Bachelor of Science, Information
Technology Programming Trenton Schien, Bachelor of Science, Information
Technology Programming Chase Kamden Boyd, Bachelor of Science, Information
Technology Programming Nolan Ray Jenkins, Bachelor of Science, Information
Technology Programming Marcus De’Andre Briggs, Associate of Applied
Science, Early Childhood Education Tristan Gail Jewell-Morgan, Associate of Applied
Science, Early Childhood Education Taylor Nicole Lewellen, Associate of Applied
Science, Early Childhood Education Deric Scott Rogers, Associate of Science,
Engineering Ryan Thomas Hawkins, Associate of Science,
Engineering Caleb Graves Jackson, Associate of Science,
Engineering Please join me in applauding the graduates
from the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and the School
of Education. Graduates from the College of Engineering,
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville are led forward
by the faculty marshal for the college, Dr. Silke Spiesshoefer. I am proud to present
these College of Engineering candidates who have
completed the requirements for a degree in either
electrical or mechanical engineering. Their freshman and sophomore courses were taken
at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith and their
junior and senior level courses were University of
Arkansas, Fayetteville courses taken on this campus. These students completed their
engineering program through a partnership between the University of Arkansas – Fort
Smith and the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
Now, upon the recommendation of the faculty and
by virtue of the authority of the Board of Trustees, Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz has
conferred upon each of you the degree indicated on your
diploma with all rights, privileges, and responsibilities pertaining to this degree.
Congratulations. Tyler White, Bachelor of Science, Mechanical
Engineering Jimmy Dalton Hairod, Bachelor of Science,
Mechanical Engineering John Heath Slamons, Bachelor of Science, Mechanical
Engineering Dylan Henderson, Bachelor of Science, Mechanical
Engineering Lane Knight, Bachelor of Science, Mechanical
Engineering Blaine Wensler, Bachelor of Science, Mechanical
Engineering Peter Ho, Bachelor of Science, Mechanical
Engineering Enrique Gonzalez, Bachelor of Science, Mechanical
Engineering Eryn Zavala, Bachelor of Science, Mechanical
Engineering Stephen Philip Sigman, Bachelor of Science,
Mechanical Engineering John Sue Lor, Bachelor of Science, Mechanical
Engineering Mason Thomas Goodson, Bachelor of Science,
Mechanical Engineering Austin Lee Seibenmorgen, Bachelor of Science,
Mechanical Engineering Reece Mathew Somerville, Bachelor of Science,
Mechanical Engineering Elizabeth Boone, Bachelor of Science, Mechanical
Engineering Caleb Ezekiel Hembra, Bachelor of Science,
Mechanical Engineering Drew Michael Caple, Bachelor of Science, Electrical
Engineering Vinh Thanh Nguyen, Bachelor of Science, Electrical
Engineering Please join me in congratulating these graduates
from the College of Engineering. So now’s the time. Graduates, please rise. I invite you to please move your tassels to the left
side of your mortarboards. Will the members of the audience please join me in one final
round of applause to recognize these graduates. So graduates, please remain standing. I’d like you to
give a round of applause and thanks to the faculty and staff of the university in recognition
of the roles they played in the attainment of
your degrees. And now, graduates, I’d likeyou to
look out into the audience, and I’d like you to give a round of applause to thank your
parents, grandparents, spouses, children, friends for
all the encouragement, guidance, and love they
have given you while you have pursued your degrees. Graduates, you may be seated. For a number of years, the Reserve Officers
Training Corps has been active on the University of
Arkansas – Fort Smith campus. Students may enroll in the ROTC program through the United
States Air Force or the United States Army. Our ROTC program prepares men and women for
careers as professional military officers. Chancellor Beran, one of our graduates has
received his commission into the Army National Guard. I
am pleased to inform you that the final act of this
commissioning will be accomplished on this stage this morning. Samuel Lisk will take
the oath of office from Major Jason Hogue to signify
his entrance into the officer corps. I am pleased to
introduce Major Jason Hogue, assistant professor of military science here at the University
of Arkansas – Fort Smith. It is both an honor and a privilege to be
here this morning. The federal oath of officership is a
time-honored tradition and a constitutional requirement that dates back to 1789. Second
Lieutenant Lisk will take the oath this morning and receive his appointment as a commissioned
officer in the United States Army National Guard. Lieutenant Lisk, please come forward
and receive the oath. Raise your right hand and repeat after me.
I, state your name I, Samuel Lisk Having been appointed an officer in the Army
of the United States Having been appointed an officer in the United
States Army Do solemnly swear Do solemnly swear That I will support and defend That I will support and defend The constitution of the United States The constitution of the United States Against all enemies, foreign and domestic Against all enemies, foreign and domestic That I will bear true faith and allegiance
to the same That I will bear true faith and allegiance
to the same That I take this obligation freely That I take this obligation freely Without mental reservation or purpose of evasion Without mental reservation or purpose of evasion And that I will well and faithfully discharge
the duties And that I will well and faithfully discharge
the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter of the office upon which I am about to enter So help me God. So help me God. Lieutenant Lisk, thank you for allowing us
to be a part of this important event. We are honored
that you’ll be representing the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith as you serve our
country, and we wish you all the best as you continue
your career as an officer in the United States Army
National Guard. Let’s give Lieutenant Lisk one more round of applause. Eric Smithson, chair-elect of the Alumni Advisory
Council and a 2009 graduate of UAFS, will now
greet and address the graduates as new members of the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith
Alumni Association. Good morning. It’s wonderful to be back on
campus and stand before the graduating class of
2017. Congratulations. I know that you’re ready to get out in the world with what you’ve
learned and make a difference. Of course that’s what commencement means. It’s not that
you’re ending something, but that you’re ready to start something. Today really is the
beginning of the rest of your life. Still you might feel a little nostalgic as you think
about the things you won’t do anymore and the people
you’re afraid you won’t see anymore. But congratulations. You’re now part of the UAFS
Alumni Association, and we can help you remain in contact with the people you care about.
You don’t have to wait for the fifth or tenth anniversary to plan your reunion. The Alumni
Association offers many events every year to
allow you to stay connected and to help you make new friends. For instance, you might
want to attend the alumni-sponsored event at Parrot
Island Waterpark on July 7. Alumni publications will help keep you updated on what’s happening
with your fellow alumni on campus. So whether you’re staying in the Fort Smith region
or moving out of the area, your Alumni Association will keep you up to date and provide
you with professional and personal networking opportunities. But now we have
one more item of business. As you exited the stage, our director of alumni affairs, Rick
Goins, handed you a card with a pin attached. Everybody have that? Will you please take
that out and remove the pin. You will see that the
pin represents the bell tower on the campus green. Symbolically it is both the center
of the university and its highest point. When you
look at the pin we hope it will remind you of your
time on campus and the many things you experienced and learned here. I ask that you now
please rise. Now attach the pin – attach the pin to the left side of your clothing above
your heart to show solidarity with more than 47
thousand alumni worldwide who are Lions forever. Thank you. Please be seated. Today you join
me and all of our fellow alumni who proudly call
UAFS, Westark, or Fort Smith Junior College their alma mater. As the latest graduating
class, you are heirs to the tradition of the first
graduating class of 1928 who adopted the motto “Through diligence to victory.” I hope you’ll
wear your pin as you go about your daily lives and
tell people about your time on campus and invite them to contact the university to learn
more about opportunities it offers. . If you find
yourself talking to a fellow alumni graduate who
doesn’t have a pin, pass yours on and contact the Alumni Association on the corner of Grand
and Waldron for another one for free. Graduates of this era and any era are invited to request
pins by calling the Alumni – calling or emailing the Alumni Association or by stopping by the
office. Once again, congratulations on your special day and welcome to your University
of Arkansas – Fort Smith Alumni Association. Thank you, Mr. Smithson. We appreciate your
words to our new alumni. Thank you, ladies and
gentlemen for joining us this morning for the spring 2017 commencement ceremony here
at University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. Commencement
is a time for ending one period of your life and a time for beginning a new phase. It is
a time for celebration. I know you will take with you
the knowledge and skills to excel in our modern and complex world, and we take pride in your
accomplishments and wish you success in the future. We will conclude this commencement
ceremony with our alma mater. The words to the alma mater may be found on the inside
back cover of your program. Following the alma
mater, we request that you remain at your seats
until the recessional is complete. Please meet your graduates outside. Please rise. [UAFS Alma Mater] I declare the morning ceremony of the 97th commencement of U of A – Fort Smith adjourned.

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