Graduates Receive Degrees at 2019 Spring Commencement
JONESBORO – Chancellor Kelly Damphousse told graduates at Arkansas State University’s commencement ceremony Saturday his hope is that they learned, along with facts and theories about how the world works around them, other lessons that challenge them through the end of their days.
Damphousse conferred over 2,200 diplomas during the two ceremonies in the First National Bank Arena. The College of Education and Behavioral Science and the College of Nursing and Health Professions participated in the morning event, and the afternoon ceremony included the College of Agriculture, the Neil Griffin College of Business, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the College of Liberal Arts and Communication, the College of Sciences and Mathematics, and Undergraduate Studies.
“It’s common for events like today to use the word, ‘commencement,’” Damphousse told those in attendance. “Commencement represents the idea of beginning. Perhaps, we should use words that represent finishing like ‘culmination’ or ‘conclusion.’”
“There’s also a time for looking forward, and we are also looking forward with you. I hope that you learned how to think critically about the world around you because it’s changing so rapidly and you need to prepare to change along with it. I also hope that we helped foster a love of learning for its own sake.”
Damphousse also noted he hoped A-State instilled a passion in the graduates for others who are less fortunate. “In the past year, we have talked a lot about the strength of the red wolf in the pack and the strength of the pack in the red wolf,” he said. “We are all nobler beings when we push aside self-interests and stand for others who cannot stand for themselves. Knowing many of you as I do, I am encouraged for the future of our region, our state, our country and our world.”
Jon Mark Horton of Jonesboro addressed the audience on behalf of the graduating students at the morning ceremony. Horton, an exercise science major, is the recipient of a Distinguished Service Award in 2019. He served as the Student Government Association president during the 2018-19 academic year.
Representing the faculty in the morning event was Marc Williams, assistant professor and Theatre Department co-chair in the College of Liberal Arts and Communication. Williams was named recipient of the Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching in April.
For the afternoon ceremony, Thomas Hamaker of Hampton was the student speaker. Hamaker, a double major in finance and marketing, was named the 2019 Wilson Award winner April 25. This is the highest achievement a student may earn at Arkansas State. He is one of the six Distinguished Service Award winners this year
Dr. Zahid Hossain, associate professor of civil engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, was the faculty speaker at afternoon service. Hossain was recognized in April as the recipient of the Faculty Achievement Award for Advising for 2018-19.
Damphousse presented a special Red Wolf jersey with her name on the back to Dr. Lynita Cooksey in the afternoon ceremony. Cooksey, who has served the university as provost and vice chancellor as well as in other capacities since 1993, is retiring at the end of the 2018-19 academic year.