University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Commencement 2023
Livestream & Photography
Commencement 2023 was recorded via LiveStream, and the entire recording will be posted here soon.
GradImages provides official Commencement photography, and students can view photos for purchase at https://www.gradimages.com/ using the search options provided.
When and Where
UAMS Commencement 2023 will take place Saturday, May 20, 2023 at Barton Coliseum on the Arkansas State Fairgrounds in Little Rock. The ceremony begins promptly at 3pm, and doors open to the general public at 1:00pm. Graduates must arrive no later than 1:00pm. The ceremony lasts approximately two hours (3-5p.m.). Graduates may not exit the ceremony before it concludes.
Student, Faculty and Staff Parking (combined): We’ve reserved 700 free parking spaces for graduates, faculty and staff on the east side of Barton Coliseum. Carpooling is highly encouraged. A valid UAMS ID or your UAMS Commencement regalia are required for entry into the combined graduate/faculty/staff parking area.
Entry to this parking area is not the same entrance used by guests and family. Entry to student/faculty/staff parking is off of Schiller Street (not the main Fairgrounds entrance). See our parking map. Students may ride and park with their families in the student/faculty/staff lot when at least one person in every vehicle has Commencement regalia. Once parked, faculty and staff will proceed to the east security checkpoint; students may go to either the east Barton security checkpoint or proceed directly to the checkpoint at the Arts and Crafts Building (see Security section below).
Guest and Family Parking: General parking is available for family and guests on the west side of Barton Coliseum. NOTE: To accommodate traffic flow, entry to the Fairgrounds main gate is controlled based upon incoming direction from Roosevelt Road. Please follow signage provided by the Fairgrounds for appropriate gate entry to the family and guest parking area. Once parked, guests will proceed to the west security checkpoint (see Security section below).
Accessible and Special Needs Parking: Limited accessible parking spaces are available through the Student/Faculty/Staff parking entrance on the east side of Barton Coliseum. An official accessible parking placard or license plate are required for entry into this lot. Guests parking in the west parking area who require accessible entry will proceed through the west security checkpoint and be escorted to the east entrance for accessible entry to the Coliseum.
Barton Coliseum requires security screening for all visitors—including student and faculty/staff assembly buildings. Backpacks, computer bags, briefcases, presents, balloons and flowers, posters or signs, air horns or bullhorns and noisemakers are not allowed inside the coliseum. Exceptions are allowed for those with medical or accessibility needs, who will enter through east security checkpoint. Phones, keys, cameras, bags and any metal objects are allowed, but must be placed on the inspection table. Coins, wallets, belts, watches and jewelry may remain on one’s person while proceeding through the screening device. All bags and items brought to the arena are subject to search. Any items not allowed in the arena will be confiscated and cannot be retrieved.
Students, Faculty and Staff: Student, faculty and staff security screening will take place at the east Barton security checkpoint immediately outside the east main entrance to Barton Coliseum. Students may also proceed directly to the Arts and Crafts Building security checkpoint, if desired. NOTE: After passing through the security checkpoint, you may not exit at any time (e.g., to return to your automobile) without returning through the security checkpoint.
Family and Guests: Guest and family parking is located on the west side of the Fairgrounds, and entry to Barton Coliseum is through the west security checkpoint. Guests and family members are not allowed in the student assembly building adjacent to Barton.
Accessible and Special Needs Entry: Guests and family members requiring accessible or special needs entry to Barton will enter the coliseum through the east security checkpoint. Limited accessible parking is available outside the east entry.
Guests & Seating
There is no limit to the number of guests graduates may invite to the campus-wide ceremony. The arena is open-seating for family and friends through the west entrance of the facility. Guests requiring accessible seating may enter through the student/accessible entrance on the east side of the facility and contact an usher for assistance. Concessions will be available for purchase within the arena.
Don’t forget your regalia! All graduates are required to wear official UAMS graduation regalia, and graduates cannot participate in the event without it. Graduates are encouraged to wear comfortable, stable shoes suitable for standing, navigating ramps and uneven walkways, and walking across the stage. No regalia adornments of any kind (e.g., cap decorations) are allowed except for official, University-approved honor cords and stoles. NOTE: There is no place to securely store personal items, including purses. Graduates may carry keys and phones, but please ensure phones are silenced throughout the ceremony.
Procession & Line-Up
Graduates will proceed to the security checkpoint outside the east entrance to Barton Coliseum and follow directional signage to the assembly area (Arts and Crafts Building). UAMS faculty and staff are available to direct students to the assembly building. Line-up is coordinated within the Arts and Crafts Building, and students will be directed to their respective college gathering areas. At the appropriate time (typically 10-15 minutes prior to the event procession), students will proceed in their lines, guided by faculty marshals, to the north Barton entrance. When instructed, students will follow their respective faculty marshals to the Coliseum floor in two lines determined by academic college. Faculty marshals will guide students to the appropriate floor seating rows. NOTE: Restroom facilities at the assembly building are limited; additional portable restrooms will be available outside of the Arts and Crafts Building.
Name cards are used to allow the announcer to correctly pronounce names as each graduate walks across the stage. These cards also provide information to our Commencement Photographer, GradImages, so graduates can later choose to purchase a portrait of the achievement. During the assembly and line-up process, graduates will be given a name card. Please verify that the information is correct, and if desired, add a phonetic spelling to assist the announcer with correct pronunciation. Pens will be available in the assembly area. Do not lose your card; carry it with you and give to the announcer before you proceed across the stage.
Diplomas will not be distributed during the ceremony itself. Graduates are given a scroll on stage which contains information about diploma distribution as well as other important information. Students should wait to open the scroll until seated.
NOTE: Please watch your UAMS email for important diploma distribution updates. When possible, actual diplomas (for Spring 2023 graduates only) will be distributed immediately following the ceremony in the Arts and Crafts Building between 5pm and 6pm. Graduating students will receive email notifications immediately ahead of the event regarding diploma pick-up eligibility. Remember…
- Diplomas are not released to students with account holds in GUS (e.g., past-due balances). Check GUS regularly to determine the status of any pending holds.
- Diplomas are not released to students with missing or incomplete grades (not all spring grades can be posted in time for Commencement).
- Diplomas are not released to students whose degree conferral has not been posted in GUS for any reason (e.g., timing for prior hold release, posting of missing grades, etc., may delay actual conferral).
- Diplomas are not released to anyone other than the graduating student. Family, friends or fellow graduates may not retrieve diplomas at Commencement. Graduates may designate another person to pick up a diploma from the Office of the University Registrar beginning May 22. A written approval/request for third party pick-up must be sent by the student to firstname.lastname@example.org from their UAMS email account. Photo ID will be required for diploma pickup.
Announcements will be provided during the student line-up period with additional information. For students who are unable to retrieve diplomas for any reason following Commencement, general diploma distribution will be available beginning Monday, May 22 in the Office of the University Registrar. Please check https://registrar.uams.edu/graduation/ for additional information regarding diploma distribution on the Little Rock and Northwest Campuses.
UAMS Commencement will be held at Barton Coliseum, which follows all current city (Little Rock) and county (Pulaski) requirements. Guests will have room to spread out within the arena seating areas, and graduates and faculty will be seated next to each other on the floor. Per UAMS policy, masks are required for unvaccinated faculty and students seated on the floor. Graduates wearing a mask may momentarily remove the mask for the graduation photo when walking across the stage. To help ensure as healthy/safe an environment as possible for our graduates and guests, those with COVID-like symptoms (cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, chills, new onset muscle ache, loss of taste and/or smell, or fever greater than 100.4 in the last 24 hours) or those meeting criteria for quarantine should not attend in person.