UAMS Graduates 827 New Health Care Professionals

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) awarded certificates and degrees today to 827 graduates of its five colleges and graduate school during its commencement ceremony at Barton Coliseum.


Diplomas were presented to 142 in the College of Medicine; 195 in the College of Nursing; 114 in the College of Pharmacy; 47 in the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health; and 70 in the Graduate School. The highest graduate total was 259 from the 17 academic programs that make up the College of Health Related Professions.


The number of graduates increased more than nine percent from the 756 graduates in 2007.


Degrees conferred during commencement include the doctor of philosophy, doctor of medicine, doctor of pharmacy, master of science, master of nursing science, bachelor of science in nursing, master of public health, master of health services administration, post baccalaureate certificate in public health and a variety of degrees in the allied health disciplines including certificates, associate and bachelor of science degrees, post-baccalaureate certificates and the master of imaging sciences.


Betty Jo Ward accepted an honorary doctorate degree on behalf of her late husband, Harry P. Ward, M.D. Ward, who served as UAMS chancellor from 1979-2000, died in March after a long illness. He was hailed by many including Gov. Mike Beebe as a leader in health care and higher education in Arkansas who impacted countless lives during his tenure.


The UAMS Medical Center’s Harry P. Ward Tower is named for him.


Betty Jo Ward also was honored, receiving the Chancellor’s Award for distinguished service to UAMS. Arriving when her husband took over as chancellor, she began volunteering at the information desk in the UAMS Medical Center. She helped start the UAMS Gift Shop, working behind the counter on Fridays from its 1980 opening until 2004.


UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has 2,538 students and 733 medical residents. Its centers of excellence include the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. It is one of the state’s largest public employers with about 9,600 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $5 billion a year. Visit