Fall Commencement: Significant Speakers, Online Graduates and Extra Security
More than 800 graduates expected to “walk” during ceremonyThursday, December 13, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus is one of three guest speakers who will address University of Arkansas graduates during the 2012 Fall Commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, in Barnhill Arena.
The ceremony will be streamed live at http://new.livestream.com/uark/events/1731395.
Mabus will be joined in the ceremony by Vincent Harding, a civil rights leader, non-violence advocate and educator, and W. Stephen Smith, an Arkansas native internationally recognized for his innovative approach to teaching the art of singing. Harding will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree; Smith will receive an honorary Doctor of Arts and Humane Letters.
More than 800 undergraduate, graduate and law students who completed their studies during the summer or fall semesters will take part in the commencement ceremony. Among them Secretary Mabus will see a group of Navy veterans and active duty officers who graduated from the College of Engineering’s Master of Science in Operations Management program. The program offers classroom and online courses at graduate resident centers established at three military bases, as well as to students located throughout the U.S.
Another graduate who earned his degree online is a familiar name to long-time Razorback basketball fans. Darrell Walker played for the Razorbacks from 1980-83, before beginning a 10-year career as a player in the NBA. He completed his undergraduate degree online this year. Walker, who is currently an assistant coach with the New York Knicks, enrolled in the College of Education and Health Professions’ online program to earn a Bachelor of Science in Education in human resource development. Walker’s Razorbacks coach, Eddie Sutton, will be on hand to present the degree.
Normal commencement security procedures will be enhanced this year because of the presence of the Secretary of the Navy, but family and friends attending the ceremony should experience minimal inconvenience. Guests should allow extra time for a standard security check before entering Barnhill Arena. Wrapped gifts, umbrellas, backpacks, strollers and noise makers will not be allowed in the building and must be left at the entrance. Cameras and other personal items will be inspected and, of course, firearms or weapons of any kind are prohibited.
Media will be required to present credentials and have their equipment in place on the floor of Barnhill Arena by 8 a.m. to allow time for a security sweep.
The doors to Barnhill Arena will open to the public at 7:30 a.m. Guests can enter through the upper south, upper east, and lower north doors of the building. Disabled drop-off is available at an entrance accessed from Meadow Street.
Students and faculty taking part in the ceremony will begin lining up at 8 a.m.
Free commencement parking will be available in lot 44 and the Stadium Drive parking garage. Parking for people with disabilities is available in lot 59 and the Meadow Avenue parking garage. A map of these lots and other additional information is available at the registrar’s website.
Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
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