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Hundreds Earn UAFS Degrees
[December 12, 2012]

Hundreds Earn UAFS Degrees

Dec 12, 2012 (Times Record - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Hundreds of degrees were bestowed upon students Tuesday night during the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith's fall commencement.

"You may not realize that receiving a university degree sets you apart from the general population," UAFS chancellor Paul Beran told the graduates. "In Arkansas, fewer than 20 percent of the population has a baccalaureate degree. About the same number have an associate or a technical certificate. The point is that you just stepped into the role of leader whether you realize it or not. Because you have that university degree, people will look to you for knowledge, wisdom, advice, help." The university's 88th commencement, held at the 3,000-seat Stubblefield Center, saw 357 bachelor's degrees, 191 associate degrees and 77 technical certificates between the fall and late summer semesters.

In May, UAFS held a double ceremony for more than 740 graduates.

Beran spoke at both May ceremonies. He also gave the commencement address six years ago, just before taking over as chancellor.

The previous May's commencement saw 561 degrees conferred.

Tuesday's guest speaker was Melody Trimble, chief executive officer for Sparks Health System and Summit Medical Center.

"I found my place in health care, and I can promise you, the opportunity to help out shows up every day in my hospital," she said. "I always wanted to be a nurse. I always wanted to help people." Sparks recently announced Trimble has been named group president of the southern and western division of Health Management Associates, the parent company of Sparks and Summit. She will take the president role Jan. 1.

UAFS earned its university status in 2002 after having been a two-year school since 1928.

___ (c)2012 Times Record (Fort Smith, Ark.) Visit Times Record (Fort Smith, Ark.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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