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Spotlights | Events | Featured | News | Business and Industry | AlumniMay 13, 2023

UAFS Spring Graduation Ends with College of Business and Industry

Written By: Ian Silvester

The 108th Commencement at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith concluded with the conferral of graduates from the College of Business and Industry on Saturday, May 13, 2023. The second-largest group of students consisted of more than 400 graduates and concluded a day where nearly 1,000 Lions walked across the UAFS stage.
“My time here has been great,” smiled business graduate Caroline Mikel. “I blinked, and now I’m here.”
During her time at UAFS, Caroline was awarded the Chancellor’s Spirit Award, was president of her sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi, and participated in Cub Camp. She believes everything she was part of reinforced her belief that UAFS is a home.
“You get everything into one little package here. You never feel like you’re alone at UAFS,” said Caroline.
Before Caroline and her fellow students received their diplomas, the final college of graduates heard from UAFS College of Business and Industry alum Dr. Brandon McFadden. The fellow alum graduated from UAFS with a Bachelor of Science in marketing in 2009. Today, McFadden is a professor and the Tyson Chair in Food Policy Economics in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
As a Fort Smith native, McFadden inspired the graduates, urging each student to invest in themselves, whether in their career or personally. Each student, he said, demonstrated the ability to achieve their goals, and their degree became proof of that.
“Remember, you are enough,” said McFadden. “Continually invest in yourselves and have faith that your reward will come.”
His message connected with Ashli Rowe. The mother of five recently completed back-to-back semesters of 18 credit hours to earn her bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership. As a graduate of the adult degree completion program (ADCP) at UAFS, the words from McFadden paint a picture of the path Ashli took.
“I never gave up,” Ashli said proudly. “The program (ADCP) and my professors helped make it manageable. Now I’ve succeeded.”
If you missed the College of Business and Industry Commencement ceremony or want to review the commencement book online, click here.

Caroline Mikel was a recipient of the John and Kim McFarland Business Scholarship.

Ashli Rowe was a recipient of the Ocker-Moore Scholarship.