On December 14, 2019, Lauren Luginbill crossed the stage in the Stubblefield Center and accepted a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences from the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. Though the 14-year childhood cancer survivor has faced more than her share of struggles, she used the strength she found through that adversity to excel in every pursuit while at UAFS.

“I am proud to be a brain cancer survivor,” said Luginbill, a 22-year-old Fort Smith native. “I think my journey to get to where I am today has made me appreciate all the little things along the way while giving me more compassion and understanding for others.”  

After graduation Luginbill intends to use this compassion – along with her sense of perseverance and a long list of academic honors – to attend graduate school to become a physical therapist.

“I did two internships for physical therapy,” she said. “This made me well aware that physical therapy was the field for me. My biology degree will allow me, in some way, to pay back those who helped me recover from brain cancer.”

In addition to her internship opportunities, Luginbill holds a recurring slot on the dean’s list and is graduating “cum laude” as a member of Alpha Lambda Honor Society.

At UAFS, Luginbill was able to truly shine, from freshman to senior year. “The size of UAFS fit my personality and needs,” she said.

“I’m proud to be a UAFS Lion because I received a great education without having to travel out of my hometown. Being a Lion and transitioning to a UAFS alumna is something I can carry on and be proud of for years to come.”


Jessica Martin
Date Posted: 
Tuesday, December 17, 2019
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