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Chancellor Confers Record Number Degrees in Fall Ceremony


JONESBORO – For the second straight year, Arkansas State University Chancellor Kelly Damphousse conferred a record number of degrees to graduates during the 2018 fall commencement ceremony, Saturday in the First National Bank Arena. The record 1,593 diplomas surpassed the 1,474 in fall 2017.

“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.’ Today is the celebration of a milestone of accomplishment. All of you had to work hard to get here today while overcoming challenges to balancing your studies and other responsibilities. Congratulations on a job well done.

“Now it’s time for you to move on. There you sit proud of your accomplishments and we are very proud of your efforts. But, there’s also time for looking forward and this is now. We are also looking forward with you.”

Graduates from seven colleges including Agriculture, Neil Griffin College of Business, Education and Behavioral Science, Engineering and Computer Science, Liberal Arts and Communication, Nursing and Health Professions, and Sciences and Mathematics, along with undergraduate studies, received doctorate, specialist, master, bachelor and associate degrees. 

Dr. Po-Lin Pan, associate professor of strategic communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Communication, spoke on behalf of the faculty at graduation. Dr. Pan was selected as the recipient of the excellence in scholarship award at the Faculty Honors Convocation ceremony during the spring semester. He was recognized for his extensive research publications.

Fumi Kubota of Koto-ku, Japan, provided remarks on behalf of the graduating class. Kubota graduated summa cum laude and received a Bachelor of Music Education degree in instrumental music. She owns the highest grade point average and graduated with the most hours. She has also been named to the Chancellor’s List each semester she has been at A-State.

Damphousse also stated to the graduating class his hope that they learned lessons that will challenge them for the rest of their days, that their time at A-State helped foster a love for learning for its own sake, and that we have instilled a passion for those who are less fortunate.

“This 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. 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.”

Commencement, originally scheduled for 10 a.m., was moved to noon due to inclement weather.