UA Commencement to celebrate over 4,800 graduates

Photo: Courtesy, University of Arkansas

More than 4,800 students will don a cap and gown this weekend as part of the University of Arkansas’ 2024 spring commencement ceremonies.

The ceremonies, scheduled for May 10-11 will include both graduate and undergraduate students, and will take place in Bud Walton Arena and Barnhill Arena.

The School of Law will conduct its ceremony next weekend, on Saturday, May 18 at the Fayetteville Town Center. 

This year, Mark Pryor, former U.S. senator and Arkansas attorney general who passed away last month, will receive an honorary doctorate from the U of A during the university commencement ceremony.

The featured speaker at this year’s ceremony will be Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon.

There will be free parking on campus for attendees in any lot labeled unrestricted. Here’s a map of available parking, including parking reserved for people with disabilities. 

Doors will open 60 minutes prior to each ceremony, and guests are encouraged to be seated 15 minutes prior to the ceremony’s start. 

For ceremonies on campus, all guests will be required to enter through the south or west entrances of Bud Walton Arena and the north and upper-south entrances of Barnhill Arena. 

The Ua’s clear bag policy will be in effect for all on-campus commencement ceremonies. Small umbrellas will be allowed, but balloons, wrapped packages and strollers are not allowed in either arena. Here is a full list of prohibited items

All ceremonies will be available to livestream via the UA’s Youtube Channel.

More information for families and guests can be found at


Friday, May 10, 2024

Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences– 3 p.m. (Bud Walton Arena)
Student speaker: 
Michelle Kamanga, senior graduate with Highest Distinction.

Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences 
– 4 p.m. (Barnhill Arena)
Jennifer James, part owner of H&J Land Co.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

University Commencement (only graduate students recognized) – 8:30 a.m. (Bud Walton Arena)
Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart, Inc.
Honorary degree: Mark Pryor, former U.S. senator and Arkansas attorney general

College of Engineering – 
12 p.m. (Barnhill Arena)
Jim McClelland, former CEO of McClelland Consulting Engineers and 1967 U of A graduate

Sam M. Walton College of Business 
– 12:30 p.m. (Bud Walton Arena)
J.K. Symancyk, president and CEO of PetSmart

Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design – 
3:30 p.m. (Barnhill Arena)
Cathleen McGuigan, former editor-in-chief of Architectural Record.

College of Education and Health Professions 
– 5 p.m. (Bud Walton Arena)
Dr. Fred Bonner II, professor and endowed chair in Educational Leadership and Counseling and executive director and chief scientist of the MACH-III Center at Prairie View A&M University.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

School of Law – 2 p.m. (Fayetteville Town Center)
Speaker: John Dan Kemp, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas.