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Spring Commencement ceremony set for May 16

April 29, 2015
By cnp
Posted in Community Events

University of the Ozarks will award bachelor degrees to 104 graduating seniors during its 2015 Spring Commencement ceremony, scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 16, on the campus mall.

A Baccalaureate Service will begin the day’s activities at 9 a.m. in Seay Theatre, located in the Walton Fine Arts Center.

The Rev. Stewart Smith, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Springdale, Ark., will deliver the proclamation during the Baccalaureate Service. Smith is the father of two Ozarks students -graduating senior Ryan Smith and sophomore Alex Smith. He is a graduate of Trinity University and Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

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Johnny Dillard, a 1970 Ozarks graduate and co-founder of Central Research, will deliver the Spring 2015 Commencement address on Saturday, May 16.

The Commencement speaker will be U of O alumnus Johnny Dillard. The 1970 graduate is the president and co-founder of Central Research, a company based in Lowell, Ark., that provides a variety of administrative and financial services, including helping clients identify deceased or incarcerated individuals in order to reduce fraud and abuse.

A disabled veteran of the Vietnam War, Dillard is a tireless advocate for disabled service veterans and his company employs many disabled veterans.  Central Research holds numerous prime contracts and sub-contracts with multiple government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education. In April of 2012, the Small Business Administration named Central Research as the 2012 Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year for both Arkansas and Region VI, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. The company was also named in 2012 as one of the top 100 disabled owned businesses in America.