Commencement will be in person this spring as opposed to last year, with a virtual option included and a limited number of guests allowed per graduate.
Graduates will wear their caps and gowns on Friday May 7th and Saturday May 8th.
According to UCA’s website, “commencement is a time-honored tradition that celebrates the academic accomplishments of students at the University of Central Arkansas. During commencement ceremonies, we recognize the learning, commitment and effort by our students in earning their degree. This is a special event for students and for all of those involved in supporting and encouraging them through this journey.”
The first Undergraduate ceremony will be at 5 p.m. Friday for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, followed by the Graduate ceremony at 7:30 p.m.
The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences will kick off the Undergraduate ceremonies for Saturday at 9:00 a.m., with the College of Business following at 12:00 p.m.
At 3:00 p.m. the first group of the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences including Nursing, Psychology, Nutrition and Family Sciences will have their ceremony.
The second group of the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences including Exercise and Sport Science, Physical Therapy, Communication Sciences and Disorders and Health Sciences will graduate at 6:00 p.m. and conclude the graduation ceremonies.
Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Patricia Poulter said, “as for the governor’s announcement about the availability of the vaccine to all Arkansans age 16 and older, nothing will change with regard to our plans for holding our commencement ceremonies.”
The number of guests allowed per graduate is limited to four and tickets must be acquired by the graduate before the ceremony.
Social distancing guidelines will be observed and masks must be worn by all guests ages 10 and under.
The doors will open 45 minutes prior to the scheduled commencement time and the stadium will be sanitized between ceremonies.
Poulter said, “we are limited to 287 graduates per ceremony. We began ticketing in the summer of 2020, although it had been in the planning stages for at least 18 months prior to that due to overcrowding concerns at many ceremonies. Most institutions limit the number of guests each graduate can have to ensure everyone has a seat, crowd size does not exceed code for the building, and so forth.”
Large helium balloons, wrapped presents, noise makers and outside food or drinks will be prohibited from entering the Farris Center and clear bags are required.
Professional photographers will be on the court to take pictures of all graduates through Arkansas Candids, the photos will be available online at https://www.arkansascandids.com/university-of-central-arkansas.html and all pictures taken after the ceremony must be done outside.
Graduates can pick up their robes between 8 and 5 p.m. at the UCA bookstore the week of graduation and guests are encouraged to visit the Conway Conventions and Visitors Bureau for lodging accommodations.
A portion of the Farris Center parking lot will be designated for disabled parking, the entrance for this parking will be at the intersection of Bruce and Augusta. Due to COVID-19, no shuttle will be available.
Although the guest sizes are smaller than usual, family members can watch their graduates over the livestream available through UCA’s website.