JONESBORO — Arkansas State University held its 2022 Summer Commencement this evening, with family, friends and faculty looking on as the graduating students walked crossed the ceremony stage in First National Bank Arena.
“Graduates, the attainment of a college degree is a significant milestone in your life, and you and your families should feel extremely proud of this accomplishment,” Dr. Alan Utter, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs and research, told the class. “You all are incredibly gifted, and it is my hope that you will give of your time and talents in service to others and to the communities in which you will live, and lead.”
Utter conferred degrees upon approximately 950 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, along with program certificates.
He also represented the Board of Trustees in posthumously awarding a Bachelor of Music Education degree to Ian Thomas, who would have graduated if not for his tragic passing earlier this year. His parents, Nick and Gina Thomas, accepted his diploma and tassel on behalf of the family.
Lt. Col. Morgan Weatherly, professor of military science, led a commissioning ceremony for two graduating students who completed the ROTC program to become Army second lieutenants. Samuel Childers of Bartlett, Tenn., commissioned into the Arkansas National Guard, while John Page of Poplar Bluff, Mo. commissioned into active duty.
Zadie Coats of Colt served as the featured speaker, representing the graduating class of approximately 950 students.
“When you walk across this stage today, I want you all to think about the great times you have had during this season of life. All the memories you have made inside and outside of the classroom will hopefully be something you look back on fondly,” Coats said, continuing with her outlook for the future. “For some of you, college has made you realize your purpose. For others, it has put you one step closer to figuring it out.”
Coats, who graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science, was selected to represent the students based on her GPA and total credit hours.
“So, be proud of how far you have come and look forward to what you will do in the future. Most
importantly, enjoy today,” she emphasized. “All your hard work has finally paid off, and it is time to celebrate. Congratulations to all of my fellow Red Wolves.”