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UAFS College of Arts and Sciences graduate Daryl McElrath

College of Arts and Sciences graduate, Daryl McElrath, receives his diploma from UAFS Chancellor, Dr. Terisa Riley

Events | Featured | News | Arts and Sciences | AlumniMay 13, 2023

Largest College at UAFS Honors Graduates

Written By: Ian Silvester

The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith’s 108th commencement continued Saturday, May 13, 2023, with the College of Arts and Sciences graduating class. The more than 430 graduates of UAFS’s largest college joined the more than 50,000 UAFS alums around the globe.

Dr. Benny Gooden, executive director of institutional relations for the Arkansas College of Health Education (ACHE), recognized the graduates, their accomplishments, and their ambition. Before his time at ACHE, Gooden served as superintendent of Fort Smith schools for 30 years and 11 more throughout the Arkansas River Valley and Missouri.

With 50 years of service in public education, Gooden is no stranger to ushering in the next generation of graduates. On this commencement day, the challenged UAFS graduates to create a lasting memory through his “three C’s of life.”

“Best wishes on a future where you celebrate, commit, and contribute,” bellowed Gooden.

Daryl McElrath joined peers in the crowd, reflecting on Gooden’s words as he waited for his turn on stage. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in history and a double minor in psychology and criminal justice, Daryl was a transfer student from Northeast Mississippi Community College to play basketball.

“It’s surreal,” reflected Daryl. “I worked my entire life for this. Today is one of my biggest accomplishments.”

He believes coming to UAFS was the right choice and will miss the “community and ‘people come first’ attitude of the school.”

To watch a replay of the College of Arts and Sciences commencement and view an online version of the program, click here.