University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Commencement 2022
When and Where
UAMS Commencement 2022 will take place Saturday, May 21, 2022 at Simmons Bank Arena in North Little Rock. The ceremony begins promptly at 3pm, and doors open to the public at 1pm. Graduates must arrive at the Box Office entrance no later than 1:30pm. The ceremony lasts approximately two hours (3-5p.m.). Graduates may not exit the ceremony before it concludes.
Commencement will be shared via Live Stream. Additional information, including a link to the stream, will be posted here once available.
Simmons Bank Arena requires security screening for all guests entering the facility. Backpacks, computer bags, briefcases, presents, balloons and flowers, posters or signs, air horns or bullhorns and noisemakers are not allowed inside the arena. Exceptions will be made for those with medical needs, who must enter through the Box Office entrance. 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.
UAMS Commencement will be held at Simmons Bank Arena, which follows all current city (North 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. 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.
Guests and Seating
There is no limit to the number of guests you may invite to the campus-wide ceremony. The arena is open-seating for family and friends through the main entrance of the facility. Guests requiring accessible seating may enter through the box office entrance and contact an usher for assistance.
Due to construction in the immediate vicinity of Simmons Bank Arena, parking is limited. In addition, other, unrelated events are scheduled near the arena, so parking will be further limited. Students and guests are encouraged to arrive early to ensure sufficient time to park and arrive at the arena on time.
We’ve reserved 500 parking spaces for students, but we expect nearly 750 students to come, so please carpool if you can. Don’t forget your regalia! You will not be allowed to participate in the event without it, AND your regalia is your ticket into the reserved student parking area, located off of Riverfront Drive directly south of the arena. You cannot park in the reserved student area without your regalia. Watch for signage on the south end of the arena directing you to the student parking area. You can ride and park with your family, as long as at least one person in every car has regalia.
All graduates are required to wear official UAMS graduation regalia. Graduates are encouraged to wear comfortable, stable shoes suitable for standing, navigating ramps 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. There is no place to securely store personal items, including purses. You may carry your cell phone with you, but please ensure it is silenced throughout the ceremony.
Cameras and Recording Devices
Families are allowed to bring cameras and other recording devices to both the college and campus-wide ceremonies. GradImages is the company that will handle Commencement photography and if you pre-order photos (before graduation day) you can save 20%; go to www.gradimages.com/Preregistration. A DVD recording of the entire ceremony will be made available by the Commencement Office as well.
Students will enter Simmons Bank Arena through the Box Office entrance and proceed to the right for line-up. UAMS college faculty and staff will be on hand to help direct you to the appropriate assembly location in the “tunnels” adjacent to the arena floor. Please be aware that the space can get warm; water fountains and cups will be available for your use, but there are no vending machines on-site. Restrooms are available in the assembly and line-up location. Because graduates may not leave the arena floor once the ceremony begins, please use the restroom facilities prior to processing.
Name cards are used to allow the announcer to correctly pronounce your name as you walk across the stage. These cards also provide information to our Commencement Photographer, GradImages, so that you can later choose to purchase a portrait of your achievement. During the assembly and line-up process, you’ll 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; take it with you and hand to the announcer before you proceed across the stage.
Faculty marshals will announce when the procession is to begin. Two lines will be formed—you will remain in your line with your college and academic program. It is important that you remain in your line, as the two lines will split on the arena floor to proceed to the appropriate seating location by college. A college banner is located at the front of each college seating area. Commencement marshals will assist graduates in finding the appropriate seating location. Please process quickly (but safely) and remain standing until all graduates have arrived at their seats. Upon conclusion of the ceremony, faculty, staff and students will process off the arena floor in the same manner as entry; faculty marshals will dismiss students by row to process out in two lines. Please completely exit the arena through the Box Office doors to meet your families outside. There is no access from the arena floor to the upper levels of the facility.
Diplomas will not be distributed at the Saturday afternoon ceremony. You will be handed a scroll which contains information about diploma distribution as well as other important information. Please wait to open the scroll until you are seated and do not open it as you are walking back to your seat from the stage. Diplomas for Spring 2022 graduates will be available beginning Monday, May 23 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.