UAFS Hosts Spring and Summer 2023 Commencement Ceremonies

May 2, 2023 | News & Events

The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith will host its spring and summer 2023 commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 13, at the Stubblefield Center. This event marks a significant milestone for the 995 students who have submitted graduation applications.

The nearly 1,000 students who will cross the stage have earned 239 Certificates of Proficiency, 50 Technical Certificates, 327 Associate degrees, 483 Bachelor’s degrees, and 10 Master’s degrees.

The commencement ceremonies will take place at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 4 p.m., with three distinguished speakers.

The 10 a.m. ceremony will honor graduates from the College of Health, Education, and Human Sciences, featuring Susie P. Marks, Executive Director of the Arkansas Nurses Association, as the commencement speaker. With over 30 years of experience in the nonprofit community, Marks has a strong background in community, economic, and workforce development. She holds a Master’s of Sport Science in Sports Management and Marketing from the United States Sports Academy and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Henderson State University.

At 1 p.m., the ceremony for the College of Arts and Sciences graduates will host Dr. Benny L. Gooden as commencement speaker. Dr. Gooden, retired Fort Smith Public Schools superintendent, has devoted 50 years to public education. Currently serving as the Senior Executive Assistant to the Provost at the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education, Dr. Gooden has earned numerous accolades for his contributions to education. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harding University, a Master of Education degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia.

The 4 p.m. ceremony for the College of Business and Industry graduates will feature Dr. Brandon R. McFadden as the commencement speaker. A UAFS College of Business & Industry alumnus, Dr. McFadden is a professor and the Tyson Chair in Food Policy Economics in the Department of Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness at the University of Arkansas. With over 50 articles published in peer-reviewed journals and involvement in funded projects totaling over $11 million, Dr. McFadden is an expert in consumer behavior and decision-making. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from UAFS, a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from the University of Arkansas, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Agricultural Economics with a minor in Statistics from Oklahoma State University.

To ensure ceremonies are welcoming and inclusive for all graduates, there is no limitation on the number of guests each student can invite, and no tickets are required for the ceremonies. All ceremonies will be livestreamed for friends and family of graduates at the university’s YouTube account.

More information about the UAFS commencement ceremonies can be found at:

Do South Magazine

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