LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Dec. 14, 2012) - UALR will host its fall commencement with two ceremonies on Thursday, Dec. 20, in the Jack Stephens Center. A graduating class of more than 1,200 graduates, including 19 graduate students receiving doctoral degrees, will receive degrees.
The first ceremony at 9:30 a.m. will include graduates of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; College of Education; and College of Professional Studies.
Chancellor Joel E. Anderson will recognize civil rights activist Gertrude Jackson with an honorary degree during the morning ceremony. Jackson worked for 60 years for social change and racial justice in the Arkansas Delta.
The second ceremony will begin at 2:30 p.m. with graduates of the William H. Bowen School of Law, College of Business, George W. Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology, and College of Science.
Among those who applied for graduation are more than 350 students who finalized coursework in the summer.
Here are two of the graduation candidates' stories:
Deanna Shelton, who will receive her Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood education, has had three military deployments since she began college in August 2007.
The first one was to Iraq during her first semester on Oct. 1. When she found out she would be coming home in December 2008, Shelton worked with UALR staff to register for spring classes while overseas. Two semesters later, Shelton, who is a military journalist, found out she was being deployed to Washington D.C. After returning home in August 2010, she got deployment orders for a second tour in Iraq that began that December.
Shelton came home after Christmas last December and was back at work doing her teaching internship on Jan. 3. While she admits a classroom full of kindergarteners was intimidating at first, Shelton is glad she persevered. "I am very, very thankful for the faculty and staff at UALR for helping me to finally reach this goal of mine," she said.
Memory Apata of Maumelle came to UALR after studying in Latin America while enrolled at Little Rock Parkview High School. Majoring in applied music and German studies at UALR, Apata got the opportunity to study abroad again as a Donaghey Honors Scholar for a semester in Salzberg, Austria.
"She has been a great success in our opera program," said Dr. C. Earl Ramsey, director of the Donaghey Scholars Program. "She has had several important roles, including the lead at times. She has done musical and theater performances at UALR and in the community. Memory also organized one of the major German cultural events this fall."
Apata gave her senior Donaghey Scholar presentation this Wednesday on "Think Transatlantic Concert: The Music of European Immigrants to the United States."
The Jack Stephens Center, accessible off 28th Street via Fair Park Boulevard or University Avenue, will open for commencement guests at 8 a.m. for the morning ceremony and 1 p.m. for the afternoon ceremony. Guests are encouraged to park in the lots nearest the Jack Stephens Center - Lot 13, Lot 14, and Lot 15, but all interior campus parking lots will be open during commencement, including the parking deck and Lot 8. The Trojan Trolley will pick up visitors in Lots 14 and 15.
The ceremonies will be streamed live over the Internet. To view the video, find out more about the ceremonies, or view the campus and parking maps, go to ualr.edu/commencement.