ASU launches Centennial
Celebration with re-enactment
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 shape Arkansas."
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
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 institutions.”
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."
Photo of Gov.
Mike Beebe by Gina Bowman, ASU Media Relations.
of ASU Theatre troupe with Bob
Simpson by Gina Bowman, ASU Media Relations.
Photo of centennial university chancellors and presidents courtesy
of Kirk Jordan, Arkansas Governor's Office.
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