North Arkansas College will conduct its second ever December Commencement ceremony at 6 o'clock, Friday night, Dec. 8. Pioneer Pavilion usually tops over 2,400 for graduation, leading to limited seating and parking. In past years, graduates received tickets to give to family members to limit attendance. Many times, they had more family and friends than tickets.
When Dr. Rick Massengale became president, he took notice. “I didn’t want any student to have to choose which family member would get to see them walk across the stage.” The college held the first December Commencement last year and it was a rousing success. Graduates have eagerly been anticipating the upcoming graduation.
Having a December ceremony also helps students experience receiving their diploma before they enter careers. When only a May ceremony was held, students would finish in December and wait several months. Sometimes their jobs took them to another town, causing them to forgo the memorable experience of celebrating a huge achievement by walking across the stage.