The University of Arkansas at Monticello held its spring commencement exercises Friday, May 7 at Willis “Convoy” Leslie Cotton Boll Stadium. UAM Chancellor Peggy Doss recognized graduates completing associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degrees during the ceremony.
Campus minister Brad Tolbert of Weevils for Christ provided the invocation, and Scott Bearden, assistant professor of music, sang the national anthem and alma mater. Trustees in attendance were assistant secretary Kelly Eichler of Little Rock and vice-chair C.C. “Cliff” Gibson III, of Monticello. Gibson provided greetings on behalf of the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees. Members of the UAM Board of Visitors in attendance included Roger George and Gregg Reep, both of Warren, and Linda Armour of Lake Village.
Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Crystal Halley announced the finalists for the 2021 UAM Hornaday Outstanding Faculty Award: Ms. Becky Phillips, Associate Professor of Accounting; Dr. Kent Skinner, Professor of Music; Dr. Kay Walter, Professor of English; and Dr. Clint Young, Professor of History. Alumni Dan and Charlotte Hornaday established the annual award in 2010 to recognize excellence in faculty teaching, research, scholarship, and public service.
Halley named Dr. Clint Young the 2021 Hornaday Award winner. Dr. Young joined the UAM history faculty in 2009. His research specializes in the cultural history of Spain, with emphasis on nationalism and musical culture. He has served for two years as president of the Arkansas Association of College History Teachers, has served as the editor of the Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies (ASPHS) newsletter, and is a member of the ASPHS board of directors. He just completed a term as a board member of the SEArk Concert Association and most recently served as the organization’s president. Young’s first book, Music Theater and Popular Nationalism in Spain, 1880-1930, published in 2016 by LSU Press, received the prestigious Robert M. Stevenson Award for outstanding scholarship in Iberian music from the American Musicological Society. Dr. Young is writing a second book examining Hispanic and Anglo-American influences on modern operatic culture. He has mentored numerous students who have presented at academic conferences and continue their education to quality graduate programs.
Retired forester Terry Alexander of Texarkana was named the 59th UAM Distinguished Alumnus. Alexander’s career in forestry spanned four decades and multiple states. Notably, Alexander was the first African American student to enroll in the UAM forestry program, and the first football player to balance the demanding schedule of a student-athlete with the academic rigor of the forestry program. The standout running back, originally from Louann, Arkansas, was inducted twice into the UAM Sports Hall of Fame, first for his individual achievements on the field, including setting records for game, season, and career rushing yards. He was named to the second team NAIA All-American, first Team All-AIC, and was All-NAIA for district 17. Alexander was inducted to the Hall of Fame again with the 1979 AIC Conference champion team, for which he served as a graduate assistant.
After graduating from UAM in December 1980, Alexander worked with International Paper for more than a decade, rising from associate forester to senior staff forester to supervisor. After years with the company in Camden, he moved to Georgia to develop and launch their OMNI wood products operations from the ground up. Later joining Weyerhaeuser Corporation, Alexander worked in the Pacific Northwest, and in Canada, in operations management, and regional environmental health and safety. He grew with the company in progressive leadership roles and managed a portion of the Mt. St. Helens Tree Farm, where he was heavily involved with the reclamation of the area devastated by the eruption in 1980. His numerous statewide board appointments in Washington and Arkansas, as well as significant community and university involvement, further distinguish him in his industry and among his alumni peers. Upon accepting the award from Dr. Doss, Alexander said, “I see this honor as a crowning achievement of a journey that began four and a half decades ago.” Alexander retired in 2019 and lives with his wife Marian in Texarkana.
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