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State ready for 1st grad ceremonies

by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | April 22, 2021 at 3:18 a.m.

Saturday marks the first commencement ceremonies at colleges and universities across Arkansas.

Events have been organized to accommodate safety precautions due to the coronavirus pandemic and are taking steps to record and photograph the graduates.

Some of the information released by the schools may change. Also, many schools are live streaming their commencement exercises on their college and university websites, as they have done for a number of years, and recording them for later viewing.

Here is a list of some commencements taking place in April. One school’s commencement exercises will stretch into May. Information is based on officials’ emails or from school websites.

ARKANSAS BAPTIST COLLEGE

April 24, the Church At Rock Creek, Little Rock 10 a.m. The commencement speaker is Mark Wilson, president and chief executive officer of Chime Solutions, a business management consulting firm outside of Atlanta.

SOUTHERN ARKANSAS UNIVERSITY

April 30, Wilkins Stadium, Magnolia Ceremonies for associate and bachelor degree candidates will be held at: 8:30 a.m. Rankin College of Business and College of Science & Engineering.

11 a.m. College of Education and College of Liberal & Performing Arts.

The ceremony for all graduate degree candidates will be held at: 1 p.m. School of Graduate Studies.

The Department of Nursing will host its pinning ceremony at 10 a.m. in Reynolds Center Grand Hall.

The commencement speakers are Ed Choate, President and CEO of Delta Dental in Sherwood, for each undergraduate ceremony, and Mary Beth Fain, CFO/manager of finance and accounting at Ouachita Electric Cooperative Corporation, for the graduate school ceremony speaker.

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK

April 24-25, Jack Stephens Center, Little Rock UALR is holding what it describes as a hybrid commencement. An in-person degree recognition ceremony for undergraduate students will be held over the weekend. Students, who may be accompanied by up to two guests, will arrive at a reserved time to celebrate their achievements with faculty and staff. Chancellor Christina Drale and college deans will present students with their diploma covers. A professional photographer will capture each degree recognition as they would in a traditional ceremony.

THE GRADUATE SCHOOL

UALR’s Graduate School will hold its commencement ceremonies in May. The ceremonies, which will start at 6 p.m. in the Donaghey Student Center, will be on different dates in in May, as follows: May 11, College of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education.

May 12, School of Social Work.

May 13, Donaghey College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

May 14 College of Business, Health and Human Services (not including Social Work).

A traditional commencement ceremony will be held, with all graduates seated as a group. Each graduate will walk across the stage individually to receive a diploma cover. After that, each graduate will leave the ceremony room and be guided to a photography station in the lobby above the bookstore for an official graduation photo. Due to current covid-19 restrictions, guests will not be allowed at these ceremonies, according to an email sent to Graduate School commencement participants.

UALR’S LAW SCHOOL

The W.H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock will hold its ceremony at 7 p.m. May 15 at the Statehouse Convention Center. Speaker: Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Rita W. Gruber.

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