MONTICELLO, Ark. — The University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) held its spring commencement exercises on Friday, May 12, in the Steelman Field House. Dr. Peggy Doss, chancellor of UAM, recognized graduates completing associate, baccalaureate and master’s degrees during the ceremonies.
Commencement was split into two ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The 10 a.m. ceremony included the School of Arts and Humanities (undergraduate and graduate), the School of Business, the School of Computer Information Systems and the School of Education (undergraduate and graduate). The 2 p.m. ceremony included the College of Forestry, Agriculture and Natural Resources (undergraduate and graduate), the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, the School of Nursing, the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Division of General Studies.
Jerry Earnest, a member of the Baptist Collegiate Ministry and a 2023 graduate of the School of Computer Information Systems gave the invocation at the 10 a.m. ceremony, and Courtney Moss, a member of the Baptist Collegiate Ministry and a 2023 graduate of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences gave the invocation at the 2 p.m. ceremony. Scott Bearden, assistant professor of Music, sang the national anthem and alma mater at both ceremonies.
Dr. Donald Bobbitt, president of the University of Arkansas System, spoke during the ceremonies.
UAM Board of Visitors members Roger George, of Warren, and Michael Jones, of Little Rock, were in attendance at the 10 a.m. ceremony, and Michael Jones, Gregg Reep, of Warren, and Scott Saffold, of Monticello, were in attendance at the 2 p.m. ceremony.
Dr. Doss congratulated the graduates and their families and friends, stating, “We share your joy and pride over the achievements of these hardworking students—our newest University of Arkansas at Monticello graduates.” She also made special acknowledgments of graduates who were first-generation students, parents, active in campus organizations or members of the armed forces.
Crystal Halley, vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, shared the finalists for the 2023 UAM Hornaday Outstanding Faculty Award: Rebecca Newton, instructor of Health and Physical Education in the UAM School of Education, and Dr. Amber Turner, assistant professor of Psychology in the UAM School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Dan and Charlotte Hornaday, both alumni of UAM, established the annual award in 2010 to recognize excellence in faculty teaching, research, scholarship and public service.
Halley announced Dr. Turner as the 2023 Hornaday Award recipient. Since joining the UAM faculty in 2019, Dr. Turner has revitalized the Psychology Practicum, working to promote it to students while building a network for student placements with mental health providers in the community. Halley stated, “Through her efforts, Dr. Turner has shown that she is willing to go the extra mile to help our students as well as the UAM community. She is a tremendous asset to UAM.”
Dr. Doss announced Pine Bluff native Kenneth Hunt as UAM’s 61st Distinguished Alumnus. Hunt graduated from UAM in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science in business management degree. From 1975 to 1978, he was a four-year starter on the UAM football team. In 1977, he was named to the ALL-AIC First Team. Following the completion of his playing time at UAM, he served as a graduate assistant for the 1979 Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference champion football team and was inducted into the UAM Sports Hall of Fame as part of the 1979 team. Prior to his retirement in 2017, he served as vice president of Transportation and Operating Services at Union Pacific. Hunt currently volunteers in a critical leadership role at UAM as the chair of the Financial Campaign for the Athletic Performance Center. In March 2023, as a result of his leadership and financial support for the campaign, the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees approved the building being named the Kenneth H. Hunt Athletic Performance Center in his honor.
A short video honoring Kenneth Hunt as UAM’s 61st Distinguished Alumnus can be found here.
A photo album for UAM’s 10 a.m. commencement ceremony is available on UAM’s Facebook page here.
A video recording of UAM’s 10 a.m. commencement ceremony can be found on UAM’s YouTube channel, UAMonticello, here.
A photo album for UAM’s 2 p.m. commencement ceremony is available on UAM’s Facebook page here.
A video recording of UAM’s 2 p.m. commencement ceremony can be found on UAM’s YouTube channel, UAMonticello, here.