JONESBORO — Arkansas State University eluded miserable heat and possible scattered showers to hold its 2021 summer commencement Friday evening in Centennial Bank Stadium.
Light showers Friday afternoon helped to lower temperatures somewhat as graduates, family, friends, faculty and staff met in the football stadium.
“We had worried that it would be terribly hot so we abbreviated the program a little bit,” said Chancellor Kelly Damphousse and jokingly added, “We are so grateful for that. I told Dr. Charles Welch (ASU System President) we ordered the weather just for him.
”Commencement is always a time for excitement here at Arkansas State University as we celebrate along with you a milestone accomplishment. Damphousse noted that the academic year was the “most challenging year of our lifetime” and praised the faculty and staff for their efforts in embracing and joining together to follow university guidelines during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Like me, many of you are the first generation of students — the first in your family to get a college degree. Others among you represent second or third or fourth generations to attend Arkansas State. All of you had to work hard to be here today after overcoming challenges while balancing your studies and other responsibilities.”
Damphousse conferred degrees upon graduates from eight colleges, including Agriculture, Neil Griffin College of Business, Education and Behavioral Science, Engineering and Computer Science, Liberal Arts and Communication, Nursing and Health Professions, Sciences and Mathematics, and University College. Graduates received doctoral, specialist, master, bachelor and associate degrees.
Bradley Wiggins of McCrory was the featured speaker on behalf of the graduating class. Wiggins received a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science and graduated Summa Cum Laude. He appeared on the Chancellor’s and Dean’s Lists eight times during his time at A-State.
“Although our names are on the diplomas, our successes have not been solely by our hands,” said Williams. “Our time at Arkansas State has been filled with highs and lows and now we are at the top of the mountain.”