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Admissions | Athletics | Events | News | Students | AV MailbagDecember 01, 2023

AV Mailbag: Wrapped

Written By: Ian Silvester


In our semester’s final edition of the AV Mailbag, I’m taking a page from Spotify. The AV Mailbag: Wrapped will cover a few housekeeping items, look at the semester in review, and close out the year with positive thoughts.

I’ll kick it off with some housekeeping

Hip-hip-hooray, the last day of classes is nearly here! But that also means finals week is next in line. Mark your calendars: the last day of class is Thursday, Dec. 7, and finals week is Dec. 9-15.

On Saturday, Dec. 16, fall commencement will begin at 10 a.m. in Stubblefield, honoring the graduates from the College of Business and Industry and the College of Health, Education, and Human Sciences. At 1 p.m., College of Arts and Sciences grads will walk across the stage in Stubblefield. All graduates should arrive 45 minutes before their respective ceremony. Head to the Echols Building and look for the sign marked “Graduate Entrance.”

Caps can be decorated, and we love to snap pictures of them to share on socials! All blue and green parking lots will be open, except for lot G, reserved for guests and graduates with physical disabilities. Check out a campus map for a list of all parking locations. Any guests who cannot attend will still be able to celebrate. They only need to visit the page; both commencement ceremonies will be live-streamed there. After graduation, you can bless a future AV grad by donating your gown and regalia in the designated boxes after the ceremony or when you pick up your diploma from the registrar's office.

Before graduation, seniors, don’t forget to attend the annual Senior Send-Off from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 15. Grads can bring up to four guests to enjoy appetizers, take pictures, and visit with friends, faculty, and staff. We hope to see you all at The Barn by Two Brothers, 3720 S 87th St., Fort Smith, for an evening celebrating you!

Let’s take a look back

First off, I want to celebrate our students. This year, our first-year entering student enrollment increased by 6.8%, with 889 students coming to AV. Overall, AV saw an enrollment increase of 2.5%, bringing this year’s students to 5,514.

We all know how incredible AV is. Well, U.S. News thought so, too. AV was named the 7th overall regional college in the south and Arkansas’s top-ranked public regional college.

Athletics had a busy semester with the start and conclusion of the men’s and women’s cross-country, men’s and women’s golf, and volleyball. The volleyball team even earned DII Top-25 votes in week seven of the season. Recently, the semester also saw the start of the men’s and women’s basketball seasons and the return of the Toy Toss, a fan-favorite tradition.

In its first season, the AV eSports team, the Digital Lions, secured a trip to Huntsville, Alabama. The Digital Lions Valorant Blue team competed in the LAN tournament. The head-to-head competition featured AV, Auburn, Louisiana Tech, and Cumberland. Cumberland narrowly defeated AV in the finals, but a round of applause is due for the outstanding season.

As we neared the holiday season, AV celebrated the 20th annual Haunted University and received a $1M gift commitment from Doug and Kathy Babb to help pay for internships and apprenticeships for AV students.

Wrapped, AV edition

Hang in there, Lions! The semester is nearly over, and once it is, a long break ensues.

On behalf of my office and the university, I want to wish you all a very happy holidays! The campus will be closed from Dec. 22 through New Year’s Day. However, the spring semester won’t begin until January 16. So, enjoy your extended break, catch up with family and friends, sleep, or travel. Frankly, do what makes you happy and embrace the time off!

I’ll be back at it with more AV Mailbags once the spring semester begins. Think about what you’d like to read about and email us at communications@uafs.edu.

Until next time,


  • Tags:
  • Enrollment
  • Haunted University
  • Toy Toss
  • eSports
  • Babb Family
  • AV Mailbag
  • Athletics
  • Commencement

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