On the night of Friday, February 3rd, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith held its third annual Hall of Fame Induction. The event was held in the old gym, or the campus fitness center as it is better known to current students. People from all parts of the country came to show their honor and support for the former West-Ark Community College athletes. Inductees included current UAFS science teacher Paula Castro Abbot (volleyball), Bob Blaylock (basketball), Jim Jay (basketball), Brian Kellybrew (basketball), and DeWayne Shepard (basketball).
The opening comments of the ceremony were given by Chancellor Paul Beran who spoke on the importance of education in our athletics. “Student comes before athlete,” said Beran.
Throughout the evening the five honorees reminisced over their years at the school. Excitement and zeal for their former place of education could be seen on every one of their faces as they told the stories that at times would have the audience laughing and the next wiping away tears. The inductees showed that not only were they part a team and gained an education at this university but through dedicated coaches and teachers they also had a family.
The 2012 class was publicly recognized as the third official University of Arkansas at Fort Smith Hall of Fame Induction Class the next day at intermission of the Lion’s home game against Oklahoma Panhandle State.