Summer commencement includes new record of graduates

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Chancellor Kelly Damphousse expressed hopes for the future of the graduates in his address during Arkansas State University’s 2018 summer commencement ceremony Friday evening, Aug. 3, in the First National Bank Arena on the A-State campus.

Damphousse conferred a new record 1,231 diplomas upon students representing the College of Agriculture, the Neil Griffin College of Business, College of Education and Behavioral Science, College of Engineering and Computer Science, College of Liberal Arts and Communication, College of Nursing and Health Professions, and College of Sciences and Mathematics.

“Today, we are engaging in something called commencement that represents the idea of beginning,” Damphousse told the graduates. “Perhaps, we should use a word that represents finishing. After all, you have just finished a lot of hard work. We’re proud of your efforts. But, it’s also a time to not only look back and congratulate yourselves on what you’ve accomplished, but also to look forward. We are looking forward with you.”

Three students graduated summa cum laude and 16 magna cum laude. Additionally, 24 students graduated cum laude and 12 in Honors program.

“It is my hope that you know A-State has prepared you to find your way when you leave campus,” continued Damphousse. “While you learn certain facts and theories about how the world around us works, I hope you will also learn other lessons that will challenge you to the end of your days. I especially hope you learned how to learn and how to think critically about our world because it’s changing so rapidly that you need to be prepared to change along with it. I also hope that we have fostered a love of learning for its own sake. Our lives are all richer when we grow and evolve.” 

Damphousse closed with the following, “Finally, I hope we’ve instilled in you a passion for others who are less fortunate than we are. We’ve had conversations about how the strength of the red wolf is in the pack and the strength of the pack is in the red wolf. We are all nobler beings when we push aside self interests and stand for others who cannot stand for themselves. Knowing many of you as I do, I am encouraged for the future of our region, our state, our country and our world.” 

Ethan Cooper of Portageville, Mo., addressed the gathering on behalf of the graduating class. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and graduated summa cum laude. He is a student in the Honors Program and a six-time member of the Chancellor’s List. 

Dr. Jacob Caton, associate professor of philosophy, brought remarks on behalf of the faculty. Caton is the winner of the Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching and is known for using an “on call” system in an honors philosophy course, making students randomly responsible for leading class discussion on a given day, and “science in the news” to help create more interest for non-science students.

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