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Commencement ceremony

Saturday, May 16, 2020
10 a.m. CST


View the commencement program (PDF) 

Lyon College conferred 114 degrees on the 2020 graduating class at the 148th commencement May 16, the first-ever virtual ceremony.

Commencement speakers had one message in common for the Lyon College Class of 2020: keep moving forward in these uncertain times.

Senior class president Felicia Horn acknowledged that commencement looked different because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but she encouraged seniors to still treasure the milestone.

“This is no small feat, especially at Lyon where we were pushed to grow past all expectations… even the expectations we had for ourselves.”

While college experiences may become a distant memory soon, Horn said “their effect on our lives will be immeasurable.”

“I hope as we move forward all of us find our happiness in life and that we are never strangers. Lastly, I wish to say thanks for the memories. I am so grateful to have met all of you.”

Dr. Tami Bond, the Walter Scott Jr. Presidential Chair in Energy, Environment and Health at Colorado State University, gave the commencement address. She assured seniors that uncertainty is okay, especially during a global pandemic.

Bond received her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering when she was nearly 29, having left college the first time at 18.

“I did not realize that the best major I could have chosen was ‘Not today, thank you.’”

Although Bond has since received her master’s degree and Ph.D. and has become a professor, she admitted that she still has not figured out what she wants to do when she grows up.

“Since we’re in the middle of a pandemic, you have a lot more uncertainty than I did. Give yourself a break.”

Bond advised seniors that it is okay to grieve what they have lost. However, she said, they must keep moving forward.

“You don’t have to know what you want to do with your life, but you do have to know what you want to do next. Even if that seems hazy, do something. Follow your compass.”

Bond told seniors she was not going to give them advice on what to do next, concluding that drawing that map will be their “lifelong job.”

“It is a messy, uncomfortable, frustrating and joyous process. Graduates of Lyon College, congratulations on your achievement! We are all looking forward to seeing how you map this world.”


The following students were awarded Bachelor of Arts degrees:

Dawson Angeles
Batesville, Ark.

Cade Archer
Sugar Land, Texas

Brock Beacham
Malden, Mo.

Peyton Black
Crosby, Texas

Darby Blaylock
Fairview, Texas

Lauryn Bocox
Texarkana, Ark.

Devon Browne
Kingstown, St. Vincent
and the Grenadines

Elena Cervantes
Fort Smith, Ark.

Deta Chappell
Corning, Ark.

Reese Chovanec
Magnolia, Texas

Vanesa Contreras
Yucca Valley, Calif.

Jordan Dabdub
Fort Smith, Ark.

Kayla DeMay
Fayetteville, Ark.

Evan Dobler
Rogers, Ark.

Mae Dyer
Texarkana, Ark.

Hailey Elmore
Jacksonville, Ark.

Judith Flores
Elmhurst, Ill.

Roger Gasmann
Little Elm, Texas

Emma Gillaspy
Conway, Ark.

Brandon Giribaldie
Willemstad, Curacao

Basil Gist
Pilot Point, Texas

Madison Grant
Batesville, Ark.

Navy Griffin
Sherwood, Ark.

Samuel Gunter
Gassville, Ark.

Nicholas Hall
Beebe, Ark.

Braden Hancock
Melbourne, Ark.

Karissa Harper
Enola, Ark.

Elizabeth Henderson
Newark, Ark.

Miguel Hernandez
West Memphis, Ark.

Jonathan Hicks
Sherwood, Ark.

Felicia Horn
Judsonia, Ark.

Jessica In
Lowell, Mass.

Trinity Ingram
Little Rock, Ark.

Raleigh Jeffrey
Batesville, Ark.

Brian Johnson
Jonesboro, Ark. 

Haley Johnson
Batesville, Ark.

Jared Jones
Batesville, Ark.

Kendra Kelley
Batesville, Ark.

Andrea Kuykendall
Batesville, Ark.

Joann Le
Batesville, Ark.

John Lemmel
Salem, Ark.

David Lewis
Batesville, Ark.

Madison Lewis
Batesville, Ark.

Olivia Lynch
Alpena, Ark.

David Lewis
Batesville, Ark.

Madison Lewis
Batesville, Ark.

Olivia Lynch
Alpena, Ark.

Arman Mansouri
Wylie, Texas

Cole McSwain
Malvern, Ark.

Lindsay Moore
Mountain View, Ark.

Tiffiney Morris
Yellville, Ark.

Austin Murphy
Jonesboro, Ark.

Emily Neeley
Cave City, Ark.

Natalie Patterson
Batesville, Ark.

Iva Popović
Novi Sad, Serbia

Ryan Porras
Burbank, Calif.

Jared Puamau
San Bruno, Calif.

Duvan Ramirez Garcia
Medellin, Colombia 

Haley Reed
Batesville, Ark.

Guadalupe Reyes
Batesville, Ark.

Travis Reynolds
Conway, Ark.

Madison Riley
Judsonia, Ark.

Stanley Rousseau
Hot Springs, Ark.

Jesse Sampley
Shreveport, La.

Gianni Santin
Saint-Denis, Reunion Island

Andrew Schnitzius
Penn Valley, Calif.

Virginia Mohlke-Schroeder
Batesville, Ark.

Michayla Shanks
Republic, Mo.

Kristopher Shipp
Friendswood, Texas

Allison Shirley
Bradford, Ark.

Toni Simpson
Jonesboro, Ark.

Kristyn Skelton
Kennett, Mo.

Jason Smith
Zion, Ark.

Billy Stidham
Batesville, Ark.

Susan Sullens
Batesville, Ark.

Morris Watson
Saginaw, Texas

Kayli Womack
Lake City, Ark.


The following students were awarded Bachelor of Arts degrees:

Joshua Abel
Jensen Beach, Fla.

Elizabeth Allgood
Little Rock, Ark.

Daniel Armstrong
Cabot, Ark.

Chase Baker
Batesville, Ark.

Kylan Barnett
West Palm Beach, Fla.

Melanie Beehler
Pea Ridge, Ark.

Jonathan Bentley
Houston, Texas

Jordan Bright
Tuckerman, Ark.

Kayla Calhoun
Shreveport, La.

William Clark
Batesville, Ark.

Taylor Dale
Batesville, Ark.

Elissa Douglass
League City, Texas

Evelyn Embry
Hindsville, Ark.

Dalton Ernest
Pittsburg, Texas

Linda Fowler
Sherwood, Ark.

McKinley Fox
Batesville, Ark.

Ayden Henry
Thayer, Mo.

Brodie Hill
Bentonville, Ark.

Reace Kinley
Bushnell, Fla.

Samantha McGillvray
Pleasant Plains, Ark.

Destiny Miller
Beebe, Ark.

Samuel Murfin
Kingswood, Texas

Oumy Ndoye
Dakar, Senegal

Sean O’Leary
Fayetteville, Ark.

Elizabeth Otis
Concord, Ark.

Gracen Ratliff
Batesville, Ark.

Jacob Reithmeyer
Memphis, Tenn.

Emanuel Santos
Betim, Brazil

Robert Shackelford
Smithville, Ark.

Joshua Sierra
Kingsburg, Calif.

Bradley Slaughter
Batesville, Ark.

Savannah Stull
Springfield, Mo.

Vinston Van
Batesville, Ark.

Rachel Vines
Yellville, Ark.

Bruce Whitehead
New Waverly, Texas

Jacob Wilson
Weeki Wachee, Fla.

Samuel Wirges
North Little Rock, Ark.

Candace Wong
Lepanto, Ark.

Ignacio Zuniga
Batesville, Ark.



Watch and get ready for commencement 2020!
Share your memories with the hashtag #LyonScots2020!