Dr. Hughes, who assumed the position of chancellor on January 15, will be the special guest at a picnic for students, an inaugural parade through downtown Monticello, a Meet and Greet at the Trotter House, a Student/Faculty/Staff Showcase and an inaugural dinner.
“This celebration will formally recognize the change in leadership of the institution,” said Jay Jones, vice chancellor for finance and administration and interim vice chancellor for advancement. “It’s a way for the university community and the community at large to celebrate the beginning of a new era and a new direction for the campus.”
The inaugural celebration will carry the theme “Honoring tradition, focusing on the future” and will begin on Monday, October 17 with a picnic for students at the center of campus adjacent to the Centennial Clock Tower. Food and music will be the fare from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., along with activities and a free student-designed t-shirt. In the event of rain, the picnic will be held in the gymnasium of the John F. Gibson University Center.
Hughes and her husband, Colonel L. R. Hughes, will serve as grand marshals of the “Paint the Town Green” inaugural parade through the Monticello square beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 18. The parade will feature the “Pride of Southeast Arkansas” marching band, student organization floats and participation from local schools and the community. Following the parade, Dr. Hughes and Colonel Hughes will be special guests at a Meet and Greet reception at the Trotter House. Hors d’oeuvres prepared by Aramark Food Services and UAM hospitality programs will be served.
On Friday, October 21, the university will host a Student/Faculty/Staff Showcase beginning at 5 p.m. in the atrium of the Taylor Library and Technology Center. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature the academic work, research and community integration developed by UAM students, faculty and staff in a wide variety of academic disciplines.
Following the showcase, the university will host an inaugural dinner at 6 p.m. in the Green Room of the University Center. Tickets for the dinner are $50 per person with $25 to benefit student scholarships and prizes. Tickets must be purchased by October 12 by contacting Christy Pace at email@example.com or (870) 460-1020. The dinner will honor Chancellor Hughes and celebrate the launch of new leadership as well as recognize past leaders of the institution. Winners of the Alumni Award for Achievement and Merit will be announced along with the winner of the Continuing the Connection Award.
An essay contest for both students and alumni will also be part of the celebration. Entrants are asked to write an essay of 500 words or less describing what UAM means to them. Winners will be selected based on content, creativity and writing quality. Finalists will receive a special invitation to the dinner and scholarships will be awarded to current students enrolling in the 2017 spring semester in the amounts of $250 for first place, $100 for second place and $50 for third place. The alumni winner will receive a gift. Essays must be submitted by Friday, September 30 to EssayContest@uamont.edu