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Public activities at ASU
off Centennial Celebration with Founders' Day, arch re-dedication
April 1, 2009 --
State University’s Centennial Celebration got underway Wednesday with
birthday cake, a carnival-like atmosphere, music, and a re-dedication of
the Historic Arch in the middle of campus.
“Today marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of Act 100
of 1909 which created four agricultural schools—one in each district of
the state,” ASU Chancellor Robert L. Potts told a large crowd at the
Historic Arch re-dedication site. “We celebrate today along with our
sister schools: Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, Southern
Arkansas University at Magnolia, and the University of Arkansas at
pointed out that Arkansas State’s name has changed over the years as a
reflection of continuing growth.
quickly outpaced our sister schools, and today we have matured into a
comprehensive university with both teaching and research missions. We
are proud to look back on our first 100 years as a bridge to our next
century of educating, enhancing, and enriching the lives of our
The newly landscaped Historic Arch site was originally a gift from ASU’s
class of 1927 and marked the entrance to the initial classroom and
administration building. The Arch faces south toward the railroad tracks
as many students arrived to campus by train.
Student Aleigha Morton, dressed in a 1920s flapper style dress and hat,
read from the class will of the Training School Class of 1927, “In the
structure, we have tried to express in imperishable form our love for
our school and pleasant school time, memories that will linger in our
hearts throughout life; and our natural human longing that we, the class
of 1927, may not be entirely forgotten, but may be recalled to the minds
of the future students who enter beneath our archway.”
Birthday greetings were extended by president of the Student Government
Association Ryan Beaird; president of the Faculty Association and chair
of the Faculty Senate Louella Moore; president of the Staff Senate
Rosemary Freer; and president of the ASU Alumni Association Gary Pugh.
ASU System president Dr. Les Wyatt introduced the chancellors of ASU
sister campuses—Dr. Eugene McKay of ASU-Beebe, Dr. Ed Coulter of
ASU-Mountain Home, and Dr. Larry Williams of ASU-Newport. Also in
attendance was President-Emeritus of Arkansas State, Dr. Eugene Smith.
The mayors of two communities—Mike Gaskill of Paragould and Harold
Perrin of Jonesboro—whose towns were in the running for the university’s
location, also addressed the group.
Special guest, Mrs. Opal Copeland Radford, who celebrates her 100th
birthday next week, was also in attendance. The ASU graduate received a
limited edition gift created for ASU’s Centennial Celebration by Art
Professor Emeritus and printmaker Evan Lindquist. Lindquist’s engraving,
titled “Unfolding Century,” reflects 100 years of thoughts, events and
ideas as well as looking ahead to new achievements at Arkansas State.
Members of ASU’s Board of Trustees read congratulatory messages
including a letter from President Barack Obama, entries into the
Congressional Record by Senator Blanche Lincoln and Congressman Marion
Berry, and a letter from ASU grad Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe.
In closing, Chancellor Potts reminded the crowd that the re-landscaped
Arch area, “serves as the key symbol for our Centennial theme, ‘Embrace
Our Past; Imagine Our Future.’”
As students began to criss-cross campus during mid-morning, many stopped
to indulge in a piece from one of the four decorated cakes located in
the Historic Quadrangle. Throughout the morning, student organizations
set up displays depicting their various histories, followed by a picnic
lunch of hot dogs, corn on the cob, baked beans, fried fruit pies and
funnel cakes, and accompanied by the music of the Wolfpack Band. The ASU
Brass Quintet performed in a concert prior to the Arch ceremony.
A parade in downtown Jonesboro Wednesday evening concluded the first set
of many Centennial events to come over the next year.