Pastor Smokie Norful Keynote Speaker For University Of Arkansas Virtual Commencement Service
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) will be hosting its 162nd commencement ceremony virtually this year.
UAPB announced that the virtual commencement will be on December 18 at 6:00 p.m. via the University’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.
Grammy-award winning gospel singer and pastor Smokie Norful will serve as the commencement speaker. Pastor Norful is a UAPB alumnus and is Senior Pastor of Victory Cathedral Worship Center in Bolingbrook, IL, and an internationally-acclaimed musician, music composer, and recording artist. He is also the recipient of several Stellar, Dove, Soul Train, and NAACP Image Awards and a multi-gold certified artist by the Recording Industry Association of America, best known for his songs “No Greater Love” and “I Need You Now”.
The ceremony will recognize both spring and fall 2020 graduates and include the commissioning of Army officers. Seventeen graduates will be awarded the Chancellor’s Medallion, an honor bestowed to students with the highest cumulative grade point average from each of the University’s five schools of study.
“I congratulate each of the more than five hundred graduates from the fall and spring classes of 2020,” Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander said. “With tenacity and fortitude and the support of faculty, family and friends, these students have overcome much and deserve a grand celebration of their achievements. While students are unable to come together in person, it is our hope that they feel the love and care taken to produce this virtual commencement ceremony.”
“The fall and spring classes of 2020 are of significant importance to the history of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff,” Robert Z. Carr, Jr., provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, said. “These graduates had to navigate the coronavirus pandemic while maintaining their studies in order to stay on track and complete their degree programs. Our deans, department chairs and faculty are immensely proud of their accomplishments during this especially difficult time.”