Congratulations 2020 Spring Graduates




A headshot of Dean Todd Shields


“On behalf of our faculty, staff and entire U of A community, we offer you a big congratulations, Class of 2020 – you did it! You survived the late-night study sessions, the group projects, the times of uncertainty and so much more – including this last strange and unprecedented semester. You’ve grown in the face of these obstacles, you’ve adapted, and your resiliency has brought you to this moment. You’ve worked so hard for so long, and now you’ve reached the graduation milestone you’ve been striving for. Please take a moment to reflect on just how momentous this is, on just how amazing this accomplishment is, on all it took to get to this moment, and all the incredible potential your future holds! Congratulations graduates!”

Dean Shields signature

Todd Shields, dean
Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences

Honoring our Fulbright College Graduates

2020 Spring Graduates

4.0 Students

Posthumous Honoris Causa



Michael Riha
Chair of the Department of Theatre

Maya Ungar
Senior Scholar, Fulbright Latin Honors, and Featured Fulbright College Student Speaker


A special Spring 2020 Commencement performance of "Everybody Rejoice" from The Wiz, performed by the University of Arkansas Inspirational Chorale, directed by Jeffrey Allen Murdock




A Message from your Department


A headshort of Peter Ungar


“Congratulations Class of 2020... As a parent of a graduating senior, I understand your mixed emotions – joy at your accomplishment, sadness at not finishing your college experience as you had envisioned it. While COVID-19 has taken away your Spring Commencement, always remember that it could not take away the wonderful education you received at the U of A, the great friendships you made there, and your preparedness for whatever life brings you in the years to come. Take some time to celebrate all these things!”


– Peter Ungar, distinguished professor, Department of Anthropology

A headshot of Gerry Snyder


“Congratulations Class of 2020! You have worked so hard to reach this incredible milestone in your life and we are very proud of your accomplishments. There is no doubt this is a historic graduation during this unprecedented time. While we acknowledge this historic season, we also urge you to reflect on the unforgettable moments you have had throughout your time at the U of A. Memories of friends, professors, events, and countless hours of homework are the moments that have built you into the young professional you are and prepared you to succeed in the next chapter of life. You are resilient. You are ready. Congratulations, we can’t wait to see what you’ll do next!”


– Gerry Snyder, executive director, School of Art

Headshot of David McNabb

Biological Sciences

“On behalf of the faculty and staff in the Department of Biological Sciences, we want to congratulate you, the Class of 2020. You have succeeded in finishing your degree! While you celebrate, please take time to reflect on your educational experience and accomplishments. Think how you matured as a person and the stamina and determination that you acquired through the many marathon study sessions. Think about the life-long friendships that have developed. As you transition to the next phase of your life, remember that you possess the ability to positively impact the lives of others. Please know the faculty in biological sciences wish you the best in your future endeavors and we take great pride in watching you blossom in your career and life. Congratulations!”


- David S. McNabb, chair, Department of Biological Sciences

A headshot of Matt McIntosh

Chemistry & Biochemistry

“Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Class of 2020 Graduates, you did it, congratulations! You’ve put in the class and lab time, spent hours researching, and have developed the skills to take you on to your next steps while having earned a valuable degree that will serve you well now and into the future. We are proud of you and all you’ve accomplished, congratulations again!”


- The Faculty and Staff of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

A headshot of Robert Brady


In a perfect world, in what we will all come to call “before” or “the old days”, today would have been our Spring Commencement ceremony here on campus. A warm spring afternoon would have been spent dressing in our best clothes, adjusting the tassels on our caps, and hugging friends and family as we celebrate your latest milestone – a college degree! While we hope that all of you will come back to campus to celebrate at our December commencement, this is a good time to let you in on a few things we wish we could tell you in person. First, congratulations! Yours is not an easy achievement. It takes long hours, lots of money, and a roller coaster of successes and failures to get a degree. Be proud of what you have achieved, because we are. Second, we are also sad that we cannot gather in person. Commencement is, after all, the whole point of college. For now, it is more important to keep everyone safe and healthy so you can go on to achieve even greater things. When you do, we will still be cheering you on! Third, thank you for coming to the University of Arkansas. You have entrusted your education to us, and we have worked hard to make sure it is a degree worth having. And finally, know that you will always have a home here at UA, and we will always be happy to see you. Your name in Senior Walk marks your place among us. So visit when you can, and stay in touch in the meantime. Congratulations Class of 2020!


- The Faculty and Staff of the Department of Communication

A headshot of William A. Quinn


“On behalf of all your English faculty, departmental staff, fellow students, and the entire University community, I congratulate all English majors, as well as all MA, MFA and PhD graduates of the Class of 2020. You are the most insightful, creative, adaptable, empathetic and articulate graduates of all. 'Hold the heye weye, and lat thi gost the lede;/ And trouthe shal delyvere, it is no drede' – Chaucer.”


- William A. Quinn, Distinguished Professor and chair, Department of English

A headshot of Jason A. Tullis


“Time as a concept is not easily understood, and yet you have devoted considerable time to advance your education and to assist your colleagues along the way. Your life is vastly enriched by your hard work at University of Arkansas, and now is the time for a grand celebration! In the fall of 1918, two children including my young grandfather were sent to a remote cabin to stay clear of the Spanish influenza and to keep animals fed. It was reported to be an extremely boring winter,and yet what my grandfather deeply understood and taught in later years was a tremendous excitement for life. Today I congratulate both you and your amazing families. I try to imagine the wonderful, incalculable influence you will have today, tomorrow, and beyond.”


– Jason A. Tullis, professor of geography, Department of Geosciences

A headshot of Alessandro Brogi


“On behalf of all of us, in history, the ‘Guardians of Old Main’s North Tower,’ congratulations to the new historians of 2020! This rite of passage is not the same as what you had originally envisioned. But virtual contact has, in many ways, got all of us closer against the shared adversities. Whether your family is with you, or you are away from your family, they all are, as are we your mentors, now exceptionally proud of you for having reached this momentous accomplishment under unusual circumstances. And as a poet once said, ‘Give us a tomorrow, more than we deserve.’ You are an amazing class that will be remembered… yes, in history. And think about this now: no more core curriculum in your life; the entire place is an elective. There is no script, and you can make it what you want with what you can. ‘Bravo’ to all of you!”


- Alessandro Brogi, professor of history and U.S. foreign relations, and director of undergraduate studies, Department of History

A headshot of Larry Foley


“This has been a challenging time for our graduating seniors and their faculty mentors. I know these graduates are heartbroken they won’t be able to march in front of family and friends at Bud Walton Arena. But, I shall always remember how they adapted and adjusted to remote learning and fought to the finish, like true Razorbacks. For this, they hold a special place in my heart. WPS!”


- Larry Foley, professor and chair, School of Journalism and Strategic Media

A headshot of Dennis Brewer

Mathematical Sciences

"Congratulations graduates! Your hard work and perseverance these last many years has enabled you to reach this milestone. The math department faculty wish you the very best for your future!"


- The Faculty and Staff of the Department of Mathematical Sciences

A headshot of Ronda Mains


“As our amazing Schola Cantorum traditionally sings at commencement:

‘May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be ever at your back
May the sunshine warm upon your face
And the rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May god hold you ever in the palm of his hand’


Congratulations Class of 2020!”


- Ronda Mains, professor and chair, Department of Music

Headshot of Ed Minar


“Congratulations graduates! Through the centuries, philosophers have offered wisdom about the good life and acute observations on the human condition. Echoing the oracle at Delphi, Socrates urges each of us to ‘know thyself.’ No doubt you have had ample opportunity of late to become better acquainted with yourselves, for better or worse. Blaise Pascal, the seventeenth-century French thinker, made the oft-quoted remark that ‘all of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.’ In social isolation, removed from the bustle of campus, you have been living a Pascalian experiment – although remember, by Pascal’s rules, no social media! Perhaps the words of that obscure philosophical school from the 1960s and 1970s, the Grateful Dead (ask your parents… grandparents?) best capture your college experience, especially in the wake of recent events: ‘What a long, strange trip it’s been.’ You are living in a unique time, and your accomplishments are much to be admired.


- Ed Minar, chair, Department of Philosophy

A headshot of William Oliver III


“Dear Class of 2020 Department of Physics Graduates, it is our honor to congratulate you on earning your degree and reaching this incredible new life milestone. We are so proud of all you’ve accomplished, and so inspired by all you’ve overcome to do so! We wish you all the best for the future and can’t wait to see what you do next. Congratulations!”


- The Faculty and Staff of the Department of Physics


Political Science

“On behalf of the faculty and staff of the Department of Political Science, it is my honor to share with you how proud we are of all you have achieved in your time here. You might guess – especially at this time of year – that your professors may weary of reviewing the hundreds of theses, research papers, portfolios, and essays we asked you to produce. You wouldn’t be wrong. But be assured also of this: as we read your work, it makes us feel hopeful. The passion and focus you show boosts our confidence that the republic – indeed this planet and every living thing on it – is in good hands. We know you to be considerate, well-informed, and capable of meeting the challenges ahead, just as you have met the challenges of the past few months. Many congratulations and thank you for the good you will bring to the world.”


- Janine Perry, professor and director of the Arkansas Poll, Department of Political Science

A headshot of Doug Berend

Psychological Science

“It's been my privilege to work with a talented group of seniors this semester. You have adapted to and powered through all of the challenges the last several months have presented, and I have every confidence that you and your peers will use these experiences to better yourselves and the world you are about to enter! Thank you for the inspiration!”


- Doug Behrend, professor and chair, Department of Psychological Science

A headshot of Alishia Ferguson

Social Work

“Class of 2020-YOU MADE IT! You are resilient and adaptable and we are all so proud of your accomplishments. Make sure to stay in touch and let us know how you are doing! Your name will be etched in stone here. You are a proud and successful University of Arkansas graduate!”


- Alishia Ferguson, professor and director, School of Social Work

Headshot of Christopher Shields

Sociology & Criminology

“To all of our wonderful graduating seniors in sociology and criminology – never forget Paulo Friere’s wisdom – ‘Education does not change the world. Education changes people and people change the world.’ We are proud of each of you and wish you continued success as you move forward and work for social change in both social and criminal justice! Stay in touch and remember to always, ‘use your life experience in your intellectual work and continue to examine and interpret it daily,’ as C. W. Mills says.”


- The Faculty and Staff of the Department of Sociology and Criminology

A headshot of Michael Riha


“Class of 2020, your class will go down in history. Not only for achieving a milestone moment in your academic career, but for persevering through some incredibly challenging times. What you have endured during these past few months could easily be seen as aset back; however, I'd like to offer you this perspective. On February 4th, 2007, Prince was slated to perform the halftime show at Super Bowl XLI. As the rain was coming down in sheets, Don Mischer, executive producer for the Halftime show, called Prince and they had this exchange:Don: "You know it's raining. Are you OK with performing?" Prince replied, "Can you make it rain harder?" If you all can make it through these past few months, I can't wait to see what you are all able to contribute to this world! We are incredibly proud of each and every one of you! GO HOGS!!”


- Michael Riha, chair, Department of Theatre


World Languages, Literatures & Cultures

“The faculty and staff in the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures congratulate you on completing your degree at the University of Arkansas! Your accomplishments over the course of our time together have been simply amazing! You developed your language skills, broadened your knowledge of world cultures, and prepared yourself to bring the world closer together in oh so many ways! You’ve grown during these many years and your strength and spirit to achieve has brought you to this graduation milestone. Now you are on your way to new adventures and new opportunities! Please take a moment to reflect on just how incredible this is. You did it and we are all so very proud of you!


Congratulations, again, in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili!"


- The Faculty and Staff of the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures







Wear your red and hashtag #GoRedforGrads2020.

On May 8, join us in wearing Razorback red to support our graduating Class of 2020 on what would be their commencement day.

Sweepstakes Graphic

See You On Social!

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @uarkfulbright

Use #uarkfulbright20 and #uark20 on all your graduation-related social media posts! We'd love to celebrate with you online!




Resources for Graduates

University of Arkansas Commencement Site

General Commencement Information

Live Stream

UA’s First Destination Survey

UA’s Professional and Workforce Development Self-paced online courses: