Southern Arkansas University’s Spring Commencement ceremonies are scheduled for Friday, May 4, 2018. A total of 497 candidates for graduation will be recognized in four ceremonies at the W.T. Watson Athletic Center.
For those who cannot attend the ceremonies in person, they will be live-streamed online at and at

The Department of Nursing will honor 42 nursing candidates at 8:30AM. Set to deliver the nursing graduation commencement speech is Adriane Delaney, women’s health advanced practice registered nurse at UAMS Family Medical Clinic.

Following will be the first undergraduate ceremony at 10:30AM, which will consist of candidates from the Rankin College of Business and the College of Science and Engineering. The second undergraduate ceremony will be at 2PM, and will be for candidates from the College of Education and the College of Liberal and Performing Arts.


According to a press release, the commencement speaker for the two undergraduate ceremonies will be Jonathan Baird, partner and wealth manager at Mustard Seed Wealth Management in Magnolia, Arkansas. He is also chief financial officer at Peoples Bank. Baird attended SAU from 1998-2001, obtaining a degree in business with an emphasis in marketing. He attended Southern Seminary from 2002-2005, receiving his master’s degree. While in seminary, he passed the CFP exam and became a CFP Professional in 2006. He returned to SAU in 2010 to finish his degree in business with an emphasis in finance. He was named the 2013 CFO of the Year for small banks by Arkansas Business, Outstanding Young Alumni for SAU in 2016 and “40 Under 40” by Arkansas Business in 2016.

The graduate ceremony is scheduled for 5PM. The graduate commencement speaker will be Patrice Phillips, who holds a bachelor’s degree in theatre and a Master’s of Arts in Teaching degree in drama and speech from SAU. A total of 170 graduate candidates will be earning their master’s degrees.

Below is the schedule of events for Friday, May 4, 2018:

8:30 a.m. Nursing

10:30 a.m. Rankin College of Business and College of Science & Engineering (Associates and Bachelors)

2:00 p.m. College of Education and College of Liberal & Performing Arts (Associates and Bachelors)

5:00 p.m. School of Graduate Studies (Masters)

All candidates should assemble in the Auxiliary Gym of the W. T. Watson Athletic Center no later than one hour before the start of their respective ceremony. This arrival time will ensure that each candidate is positioned in the line.

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