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Seniors see end of the tunnel at Grad Fest

Submitted by Kyle Troutman on March 18, 2011 – 11:51 amNo Comment

There was only one thing in the minds of seniors March 9 and 10; 72 days until Spring Commencement.

In the second installment of this academic year’s Grad Fest, sponsored by the Office of Educational and Student Services, seniors had the opportunity to speak with representatives from the Office of Financial Aid, Office of Records and Registration, the Alumni Association and UALR’s Graduate School. Balfour, jewel manufacturer since 1913, was also on hand to entice upcoming graduates with class rings and graduation invitations.

Senior social work major Becky Turney attended the event Thursday, March 10. “I came to check out what all they offered,” she said. “Information about the cap and gown, invitations and pictures is what I really needed.”

The Office of Records and Registration verified seniors’ majors and minors, mailing addresses and names to be printed on their diplomas. Sharing the same table, the Office of Financial Aid advised seniors about Stafford Loan Exit Counseling, helping UALR graduates stay out of the red.

Across the DSC’s Lower Concourse, assistant registrar Ellen Lewis informed seniors of UALR’s Graduate School.

“Grad Fest helps us draw people from our University to stay on campus,” she said. “We’ve had at least 50 or so students come to our table today, but more people come after 5 [p.m.] because of our night classes.”

The Alumni Association was on hand to sign seniors up, as well as offer personalized bricks and license plates (and plate frames), plus free UALR decals and T-shirts. The association also had a drawing for four caps and gowns, and a $300 gift basket with a cap and gown voucher, personalized brick, license plate, Alumni T-shirt and official UALR diploma frame.

Alumni Board member Paul Nolte volunteered at the table. “We are looking to get members for our Association to stay in touch with the school,” he said. “[Also,] the member license plates we sell fund alumni scholarships, like the Alumni Forever Scholarship. We are giving those to upcoming seniors.”

The new crop of fall seniors, whether on scholarship or taking student loans, will get their chance to attend Grad Fest in mid-October.

“It’s great because all the information is centralized and it gets us all excited about graduating,” Turley said.

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