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Alumni | Arts and Sciences | Business and Industry | Events | Featured | First Generation | Health Education and Human Sciences | News | StudentsApril 11, 2024

What's the 4-1-1 on Graduation?

Written By: Ian Silvester

Attention all spring graduates: spring commencement at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is one month away. Before graduates walk across the stage at the Stubblefield Center on Saturday, May 11, it felt only fitting to prepare a list of what you need to know, what you can do, and how you can stay up-to-date after becoming a UAFS alum.

It’s a month away, so what’s the 4-1-1?

Before the big day, visit the Graduation Checklist page for a complete and detailed list of what to do before graduation. Highlights are to verify your graduation application, register to participate in the ceremony, and ensure all financial obligations are paid in full.

Celebrate with fellow graduates, faculty, staff, alumni, family, and friends the night before graduation at the spring Senior Send-Off. The event will be from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, May 10, at The Barn by Two Brothers, 3720 S. 87th Street, Fort Smith. Enjoy a drink courtesy of the UAFS Alumni team, appetizers, music, and pictures. Graduates can bring up to four guests. Register yourself and your guests here.

Once the big day arrives, each college will have a separate commencement ceremony time. The College of Arts and Sciences will kick things off at 10 a.m., followed by the College of Business and Industry at 1 p.m., concluded by the College of Health, Education, and Human Sciences at 4 p.m. All graduates should arrive at least 45 minutes before their college commencement time and follow signs marked “Graduate Entrance” to line up in the Echols Building. Personal items should be left with a guest.

Graduates are encouraged to mark the special day by wearing appropriate attire under their gowns. However, a personal flair can still be shared if you want to decorate your cap's top. Be sure to purchase your graduation ensemble (cap, gown, and tassel) by April 16. Items can be bought online by visiting Herff Jones. When ordering, follow the guidelines to ensure correct purchase: master’s graduates wear a black master's gown with the hood for their area of study, bachelor’s graduates wear a black cap and gown, and associate and certificate graduates wear a navy cap and gown. A complete list of stoles and cords can be found by visiting the Commencement Information page and clicking the “Approved Commencement Stoles and Cords” drop-down menu.

There are plenty of parking spots at UAFS, and for commencement, the University is committed to making parking the least of your, and your guests, worries. All blue and green lots will be open. However, the lots directly adjacent to the Stubblefield Center, lot G, are reserved for attendees with physical disabilities. Click here for a UAFS parking map.

Each graduate will need their photographer and reader cards during the ceremony. The reader card will be used to call your name as you cross the stage and receive your diploma cover containing a congratulatory letter from Chancellor Riley. Diplomas are printed after completing degree requirements and verified for all graduates. Keep an eye on your UAFS email to be notified approximately eight weeks after commencement with a confirmation to pick up your diploma from the Registrar’s Office or request to have it mailed. The photograph card will be presented to the photographer and used to send photos to each graduate with the option to purchase.

For any guest unable to attend, each commencement will be live-streamed and found on either the Spring 2024 Commencement page or the UAFS YouTube channel.

Transitioning from student to alumni doesn’t mean UAFS stops caring about your success. As a new alum there are plenty of ways to stay connected. Connect with Career Services and complete the First Destination survey to share your plans after graduation. The Babb Center for Career Services will remain available to help you with a job search, interview skills, resume updates, and more. Make an appointment by emailing or call 479-788-7017.

Burn off steam and keep up with fitness goals by signing up for a special membership rate at the RAWC. All UAFS graduates are eligible. Visit the RAWC website for details or to purchase your new membership.

But that’s not all.

As a UAFS alum, there are more ways to stay connected to Lions globally. Follow the UAFS Alumni Office on Facebook or Instagram using @uafsalumni and follow the UAFS Alumni LinkedIn page. The Alumni Office will give you a Bell Tower pin at graduation and encourage you to celebrate UAFS on Bell Tower Pin Day in September. Keeping up to date with the office also ensures access to alumni events, such as the Roarin’ on the River Shrimp Boil, which begins at 6 p.m. on June 15. All recent graduates will receive a new alum discount. Finally, leave your legacy with a UAFS brick. These commemorative bricks can be found along the Donald W. Reynolds Plaza, Bell Tower, and Campus Green to symbolize your time at UAFS. 

On behalf of everyone at UAFS, we are proud of each of you. Congratulations, graduates!

  • Tags:
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Commencement
  • Grad Checklist
  • Alumni
  • College of Health Education and Human Sciences
  • College of Business and Industry

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Rachel Rodemann Putman

  • Director of Strategic Communications
  • 479-788-7132
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