GRAD awards to pay tribute to faculty, staff

UALR Vice Chancellor of Educational, Student Services and Student Life Charles Donaldson and Associate Vice Chancellor Logan Hampton are heading an effort to pay tribute to faculty and staff, as well as UALR offices, who have impacted the success of student graduates from the university over the last three years.

UALR Student Success Initiative at Fall 2012 CommencementAn estimated 300 honorees will be recognized at the GRAD Awards reception from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, in the Donaghey Student Center, Ledbetter Assembly Hall.

The reception is part of Chancellor Joel E. Anderson’s Student Success Initiative, a program that seeks to increase the retention and graduation rates of students through mentorship and student development.

Donaldson said graduation and retention rates are a top priority, especially when spending extra years in school translate into spending more on tuition than a student has budgeted. And, the longer a student takes to graduate and get a job, the more delay there is in developing a career and earning a paycheck.

After analyzing three years of student exit survey results, Donaldson and his staff noticed an encouraging pattern. Some of the same faculty and staff were listed numerous times by different students as having had a positive influence on their decision to continue with their education and graduate.

“These faculty and staff have more impact than they realize,” said Donaldson. “It seems only appropriate that we take time to say thank you to them, not only for their hard work, but for making such a tremendous difference in the lives of our students.”

Donaldson said his staff would like to make the event an annual one. The honorees will receive a medallion to be worn at commencement exercises.

The casual, come-and-go reception will include heavy hors d’oeuvres. All are invited to come and thank the honorees in person.

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