The best elements of three annual events involving the University of Central Arkansas athletic department will be combined into one with the first "Bear Nation Celebration" to be held Tuesday night at the Farris Center.

The event, which begins with a social hour and silent auction at 6 p.m., is a combination of the annual Student-Athlete Awards Banquet, the Purple Circle Kickoff and Purple Circle Tip-Off Parties. The evening will also feature a dinner and awards ceremony at 7 p.m., followed by a live auction to close the event.

Featured speakers at the event will include UCA President Dr. Allen Meadors, UCA Director of Athletics Dr. Brad Teague, head men’s basketball coach Corliss Williamson and head football coach Clint Conque. Awards will be given to the UCA Male and Female Student-Athletes of the Year, the Coach of the Year, the Team Grade-Point Average Award and the Purple Circle Member of the Year. Graduating senior rings will also be presented.

Special guests who will help present the awards are Justin Acri of 103.7 The Buzz radio station, sports director Kerri O’Hara of KARK Channel 4 and sports director Steve Sullivan of KATV Channel 7.

This year’s event will be held in honor of long-time UCA basketball coach and athletic director Arch Jones, who passed away on March 25.

Individual tickets are available and tables can be purchased as well by calling 501-450-3150. Sponsorship opportunities for the event are available by contacting Matt Jordan at 501-450-3219 or mjordan@uca.edu. Proceeds from the event will go to the Purple Circle Foundation and will help fund student-athlete scholarships.