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ASU launches Centennial Celebration with
Jan. 14, 2009 --
State University's year-long Centennial celebration got underway with a
ceremonial re-enactment signing of Act 100 of 1909 in the Rotunda of the
State Capitol Wednesday morning in Little Rock.
Four state universities created by Act 100 launched their centennial
celebrations with the joint public re-enactment
and re-signing of their founding legislation. The four schools,
Arkansas State University-Jonesboro, Arkansas Tech University, Southern
Arkansas University, and the University of Arkansas at Monticello, have
become comprehensive universities with missions in teaching, research,
and service. The celebration ceremony included greetings from the
leaders of the four schools, as well as remarks and a ceremonial
re-signing of Act 100 by Governor Mike Beebe.
"We are here today to acknowledge the past," said Gov. Beebe. "The next
100 years will show that all four institutions will greatly expand and
exceed the grandest expectations of all of the people in this room. I am
proud of all four schools and the roles they will play in the future to
He closed by wishing a "Happy Birthday" to all four universities.
The event got underway with members of ASU's theatre department in
period costume portraying members of the 1909 37th General Assembly—House
Speaker Rep. J.J. Bellamy of Lawrence County, Rep. J.L. Brown of
Independence County, Rep. Oscar Winn of Pulaski County, Rep. E. D.
Smothers of Baxter County, and Sen. Robert W. Glover of Grant County.
The group dramatized actual remarks from the Legislative record.
The performances drew applause from the standing room only crowd as each
student thespian vocalized remarks in the dialect of the period. Bob
Simpson, chair and professor of theatre in ASU’s Department of Theatre,
served as Speaker Rep. J. J. Bellamy Jared Weston portrayed
Representative J. L. Brown of Independence County,
Donnie Walters portrayed Representative Oscar Winn of Pulaski County,
James Kaut portrayed Representative E. D. Smothers of Baxter County, and
Rob Spencer portrayed Senator Robert W. Glover of Grant County.
Following remarks by institutional leaders from three schools, ASU
Chancellor Dr. Robert Potts noted that Gov. Beebe is a graduate of
"We are proud to be honoring four wonderful universities that continue
to serve this state so well," said Dr. Potts. "The visionary leadership
of the Legislature in 1909 is something to remember. We appreciate the
foresight of the General Assembly to have this vision for these four
Dr. Potts noted that ASU has grown into a major university with nearly
170 academic fields of study and an enrollment of over 11,000 students
at the Jonesboro campus. Since 1909, over 63,000 degrees have been
awarded to graduates of Arkansas State.
"On behalf of Arkansas State University, I would like to say thank you
to the Legislature and all of those who help and support us as we
embrace our past and imagine our future over the next 100 years."