Harding recognizes 2023 fall candidates for graduation during Dec. 16 commencement

SEARCY, Ark. (Dec. 11, 2023) — Harding University will hold its first centennial year commencement ceremony, honoring 93 summer graduates and 315 candidates for graduation, at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16. The ceremony is to be held in the University’s George S. Benson Auditorium, located at 201 S. Blakeney in Searcy.

Harding is proud to continue its celebration of academic achievement and global diversity as it observes the milestone of its 100th year. During commencement, the University will recognize the accomplishments of students representing 32 U.S. states and nine countries, including China, Colombia, Germany, Greece, Jamaica, Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe. The University will confer 18 degrees across its distinguished programs, demonstrating the academic success of all eight colleges.

“Our University is proud to witness the culmination of achievements from our students over their years here at Harding,” said Dr. Mike Williams, president of Harding University. “We look forward to witnessing how these exceptional individuals take our vision of an inspired purpose beyond our campus to become change-agents and leaders in their communities.”

Originally scheduled for 10 a.m., the ceremony time has been moved to 9 a.m. so the Harding family can also cheer on the Harding University Bisons in their first-ever NCAA Division II national football championship appearance in McKinney, Texas, that same day. This is a once-in-a-hundred-years day at Harding University. 

The commencement address will be given by Keith Cronk, M.Litt., who formerly served as Harding’s chief information officer and vice president of information systems and technology. A dedicated member of the University’s leadership, Cronk first came to Harding in 1999 as a visiting professor from Australia's University of Southern Queensland. He served as manager of corporate and international services at the University of Queensland and held the position of associate dean of its School of Business. In 2015, he received the Info-Tech CIO Leadership Award for superior service to his organization, honoring his contributions during more than two decades with the University.

Cronk obtained a master’s degree from the University of New England, holds a graduate diploma in computing from the University of Canberra, and bachelor’s degrees from Australian National University. 

Following the address, Harding President Mike Williams will recognize candidates as they are recommended by the faculty for graduation. Doors will open approximately one hour before the ceremony for guest seating. To reserve a ticket or learn more about the commencement ceremony, visit Harding.edu/graduation.

The commencement ceremony will be livestreamed at streaming.harding.edu

About Harding University

Harding University is a private Christian, liberal arts university located in Searcy, Arkansas. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and celebrating its centennial year, it is the largest private university in the state. Harding’s student body represents students from across the U.S. and more than 50 nations and territories. The University offers more than 110 undergraduate majors; 14 preprofessional programs; more than 40 graduate and professional programs; as well as numerous study abroad opportunities including locations in Australasia, Peru, Europe, Greece, Italy and Zambia. For more information, visit Harding.edu.

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