Two local leaders of industry and innovation will address new graduates at the 101st commencement of the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith Saturday, May 11. Ceremonies will take place at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Stubblefield Center, located at 532 N. Waldron Rd.
Steve Clark, entrepreneur, startup investor, and advisor, will address the morning ceremony. Clark has been ranked as one of Arkansas’ top business innovators and was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the University of Arkansas Walton College of Business in 2015.
Clark is the founder and owner of Propak, a nationwide transportation and supply chain management company based in Fort Smith, and co-founder of Rockfish, a globally recognized digital innovation firm recognized in 2014 as one of the top 10 fastest growing mobile marketing agencies in the United States.
In 2013 Clark founded Noble Impact, an education venture in partnership with the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. Additionally, he founded Future School of Fort Smith in 2016, a public and tuition-free charter high school that offers diverse education and learning models.
Most recently Clark founded 64.6 Downtown, an organization committed to creating vibrant spaces in downtown Fort Smith through creative placemaking, business development, and events. 64.6 Downtown is the producer of The Unexpected, an award-winning event that brings urban and contemporary art to Arkansas.
Clark is also actively involved with the Fort Smith community, serving on the boards of the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith Foundation, U.S. Marshalls Museum, and the Central Business Improvement District. In 2019 he received the Governor’s Arts Award for Arts Community Development. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in finance and banking from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
Bill Hanna, president and CEO of Hanna Oil and Gas Company and partner in KMW Properties, will address graduates at the afternoon ceremony. Hanna began his tenure with Hanna Oil and Gas in 1983, working in various capacities before transferring to Calgary, Canada, where he established Hanna Oil and Gas Company – Canada in 1987. He returned to Fort Smith in 1992 and was named president in 2000.
In addition to his career with Hanna Oil and Gas, Hanna serves on the boards of First Bank Corp., Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce, Boys and Girls Club, United Way, Central Business Improvement District, and Arkansas Colleges of Health Education.
Hanna is also a current member of the UAFS Foundation Board, the G.C. Hardin Society, and the UAFS Family Enterprise Center. His relationship with UAFS students was the inspiration for and led to the foundation of the Alumni Association’s Mentor Connections program. Hanna received the inaugural Honorary Alumni Award from the UAFS Alumni Association for his service to the university at the 2019 Homecoming Reunion Dinner this spring.
Hanna holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
Dr. Michael Moore, vice president for academic affairs for the University of Arkansas System, will also be in attendance to greet candidates.
In addition to Edward Serna, interim chancellor, UAFS administrators presenting candidates will be Dr. Georgia Hale, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs; Dr. Ken Warden, dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology; Dr. Ashok Subramanian, dean of the College of Business; Dr. Carolyn Mosley, dean of the College of Health Sciences; Dr. Paul Hankins, dean of the College of Communication, Languages, Arts and Social Sciences; Dr. Ron Darbeau, dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; Dr. Norm Dennis, senior associate dean for the College of Engineering at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; and Wayne Womack, registrar.
Christopher Cluck, chair of the Alumni Advisory Council, will provide a welcome from the UAFS Alumni Association. Mitzi Jones, chief marshal, and bearer of the mace will give the call to order and adjournment. The UAFS Symphonic Band will provide music with solo performances of the national anthem and alma mater performed by Rebekah Hoodenpyle, UAFS music education major, for the morning ceremony and Dr. Timothy Workman, director of choral activities, for the afternoon ceremony. Dr. Stephen Husarik, head carillonneur, will provide pre-ceremony music and the post-recessional bell peal on the Donald W. Reynolds Bell Tower carillon.
The morning ceremony will recognize graduates from the College of Business, College of Health Sciences, and College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The afternoon ceremony will recognize graduates from the College of Applied Science and Technology and the College of Communication, Languages, Arts, and Social Sciences.
For more information, visit: http://academics.uafs.edu/records/commencement-information.