UAM holds virtual graduation ceremony

The University of Arkansas at Monticello hosted its commencement May 8, just as originally scheduled for their spring graduation event. However, in accordance with the UA System and Arkansas Department of Health guidelines, it was held in a virtual format. A first for the institution, the event followed the ceremonial schedule, and as of Friday afternoon, it had been viewed thousands of times on Facebook and YouTube.
“We look forward to the day when we can hold an in-person event. In the meantime, we could not let this date without marking your achievements,” said interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Crystal Halley, in her opening remarks.
Chancellor Peggy Doss encouraged students to return to campus for the traditional ceremony to fully realize the milestone of graduation when it is safe to do so. She emphasized that while May 8 did not unfold as graduates originally planned, she wanted to underscore the great pride felt by the institution's faculty, staff, and fellow students in her online address. “Although we are not able to congratulate you in person, you need to know that we are very proud of you, and that we are thrilled you have been part of our UAM community.” 
Other speakers in the recorded event included segments by two additional UAM alumni: Jeremy Woodall, BCM campus minister, who gave the invocation, and Jeffrey Weaver, Vice Chancellor for Advancement, who conferred alumni status on the new graduates.
A message from UA System President Donald R. Bobbitt included a message of choosing hope and overcoming challenges. “As president, there are many things that keep me up at night, but after looking over the accomplishments of this graduating class, the future of this state- of this institution- are not on that list,” he said.
Faculty, staff, and students submitted videos, stills, and encouraging messages which were used in the Virtual Commencement video and will continue to debut throughout the coming weeks and throughout the summer, according to director of public relations and marketing, Ember Davis. “The university cannot overstate the achievements of this graduating class,” according to a post on the UAM Facebook page.
“This class is talented, they're resilient, and they are persistent,” said Doss. “You have thoroughly enriched our lives as you have pursued your dreams. You are always welcome here. We are united by UAM.”
The full UAM Virtual Commencement video can be seen on the UAM - University of Arkansas at Monticello Facebook Page, and on YouTube: youtube/K-JXR4h4zkY .

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