“Devil’s Knot” author to receive honorary degree, Rymer and Moody to speak
Local journalist and “Devil’s Knot” author Mara Leveritt will receive an honorary degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock during Saturday morning’s commencement on May 17.
She joins more than 1,400 students receiving degrees from UALR during Saturday’s three separate commencement ceremonies. Details about each ceremony are listed below.
Leveritt’s book, “Devil’s Knot,” concerns the murder case against three Arkansas teenagers, commonly known as the West Memphis Three, who were released in 2011 after 17 years in prison.
The story became a feature film starring Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth, which made its world premiere in Little Rock earlier this month.
The afternoon commencement ceremony will feature remarks from UALR Alumnus Jon T. Rymer, the inspector general for the U.S. Department of Defense. Before joining the DOD, he served as the inspector general for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
Concurrent with his service at the FDIC, he served as interim inspector general of the Securities and Exchange Commission, only months before what became known as the Great Recession. Rymer was instrumental in pointing out the critical disconnect between the U.S. Treasury and the FDIC when they failed to act quickly on the impending failure of a major national bank, the first pillar to fall during the financial crisis.
The Commencement and Hooding Ceremony for graduates of the William H. Bowen School of Law will be held at the Statehouse Convention Center and will feature speaker Jay Moody, a 1989 graduate and U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
Commencement exercises scheduled
There will be three ceremonies on Saturday, at 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. for the main campus at the UALR Jack Stephens Center, and a ceremony at 12:30 p.m. for graduates of the Bowen Law School.
At the 9:30 a.m. ceremony, the following colleges will confer degrees:
- College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
- College of Education
- College of Professional Studies
For the 3 p.m. ceremony, the following colleges will confer degrees:
- College of Business
- College of Science
- George W. Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology
The Jack Stephens Center will open for guests at 8 a.m. for the morning ceremony and 1:30 p.m. for the afternoon ceremony. Early arrival is recommended. UALR reminds its guests that the campus is smoke free.
UALR graduates are encouraged to join the Alumni Association and purchase a commemorative brick. For more information about commencement, contact the Office of Records and Registration.
Events will be available for viewing online via the Ceremony Live Stream.
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