The University of Arkansas at Hope-Texarkana held its 49th annual commencement ceremony on Tuesday, May 10th, at 6:00 p.m. in Hempstead Hall on the Hope Campus. Several special guests from the University of Arkansas System were in attendance to honor graduating students. Dr. Donald Bobbitt, President of the University of Arkansas System, and David H. Pryor, Vice Chairman of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, along with Ben Hyneman, and John Goodson, both Trustees on the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, were in attendance to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates.
This year 338 graduates from the class of 2015-2016 earned a total of 596 degrees and certificates. The success of this year’s graduating class brings the total number of degrees and certificates awarded since academic year 2008-2009 to over 4,000. For the first time, UAHT had adult education students walk in commencement with 13 students receiving their G.E.D.
During the ceremony, Dr. Bobbitt offered words of praise saying, “Many of you had to overcome almost insurmountable obstacles to get here. Some had the demands of school, jobs, family and children to overcome and still others faced different set-backs. In spite of these obstacles, you are graduates of the class of 2016. Thank you for inspiring me through your spirit and allowing me to participate in one of the most important activities we engage in.”
Chris Thomason, Chancellor of the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana, challenged the graduates and encouraged them to “continue taking advantage of opportunities available to you on the UAHT campus and in the University of Arkansas System with the same commitment that got you to your graduation tonight. I also urge you to use this accomplishment and your education to improve our region and all of Arkansas for the future. Your education is the foundation of a stronger Arkansas for this generation and generations to come.”
Degrees and certificates earned by UAHT graduates have a significant economic impact on the State of Arkansas. According to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, the net impact on the State of Arkansas of persons who have associate’s degrees and/or college certificates is $23,284,534. This represents a return on investment of 343.8%. The University of Arkansas at Hope-Texarkana is helping students build a bridge to a brighter future, and in return, those students are creating a brighter future for our communities and our State.
Congratulations UAHT class of 2016.
Pictured: Freddie Smith, Chairman of the Board of Visitors at U of A Hope-Texarkana presents Amanda Condon with her college diploma.