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Arkansas Tech University

Arkansas Tech University
Former name
Second District Agricultural School (1909–1925)
Arkansas Polytechnic College (1925–1976)
TypePublic university
Established1909; 115 years ago (1909)
PresidentRussell Jones
Students9,487 (Fall 2023)[1]
Undergraduates8,808[1]
Postgraduates679[1]
Location, ,
United States
CampusCity, 516 acres (2.09 km2)
ColorsGreen and gold[2]
   
NicknameWonder Boys (men)
Golden Suns (women)
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IIGAC
MascotWonder Boys & Golden Suns
Websitewww.atu.edu

Arkansas Tech University (ATU) is a public university in Russellville, Arkansas, United States. The university offers programs at both baccalaureate and graduate levels in a range of fields. The Arkansas Tech University–Ozark Campus, a two-year satellite campus in the town of Ozark, primarily focuses on associate and certificate education.

History

Early history (1909–76)

Aerial view of Arkansas Tech University, 2008

In 1909, Act 100, passed by the Arkansas General Assembly and signed by Governor George Donaghey, provided for the creation of one agricultural high school in each of four districts stipulated in the act, with what would eventually become Arkansas Tech University in the Second District.[3][4][5]

The schools were to teach horticulture and textile making in addition to agriculture. The location for each of the four schools was to be chosen by that district's five trustees, appointed by the Governor, taking into consideration "the nature of the soil, healthfulness of location, general desirability, and other material inducements offered, such as the donation of buildings, land or money." The four schools eventually evolved into four present-day institutions of higher learning. The First District Agricultural School at Jonesboro evolved into Arkansas State University; the Second District Agricultural School in Russellville is today's Arkansas Tech University; the Third District Agricultural School in Magnolia became Southern Arkansas University; and the University of Arkansas Monticello began as the Fourth District Agricultural School.[5]

After evaluating proposals from Fort Smith, Morrilton, Ozark, and Russellville, on February 10, 1910, Second District Agricultural School trustees announced that the school would be located in Russellville.[6] Construction of the school's Main Building began on April 10, 1910,[7] with contracts for additional buildings let in June 1910.[8] On October 26, 1910, the first classes were held in Russellville. The original purpose of the school was to offer a secondary (or high school) education in agricultural and technical subjects.[9] Later, the school took on the first two years of college instruction, and the school's name was changed to Arkansas Polytechnic College by the General Assembly in 1925 to reflect this change in purpose. The school became a two-year junior college in 1927 and, at the end of the 1929–1930 academic year, stopped offering high school classes.[10]

Recent history (1976–present)

The school took on its current name of Arkansas Tech University on July 9, 1976.

In the fall of 2003, Arkansas Tech University announced it intended to take over the state vocational school, Arkansas Valley Technical Institute, in Ozark, the seat of Franklin County. As of July 1, 2004, the Ozark campus has acted as a satellite campus of Arkansas Tech and has begun offering coursework leading toward an Associate of Applied Science degree in various subjects.

From 1997 to 2015, enrollment at Arkansas Tech increased by 183 percent. The fall of 2015 marked the 17th consecutive year that Arkansas Tech established a new institutional record for largest enrollment, then 12,054 students, making ATU the third largest institution of higher learning in the state.

Term Total students
Fall 2009 8,814
Fall 2010 9,815
Fall 2011 10,464
Fall 2012 10,950
Fall 2013 11,369
Fall 2014 12,002
Fall 2015 12,054
Fall 2016 11,894
Fall 2017 11,830
Fall 2018 12,101
Fall 2019 11,829
Fall 2020 10,829
Fall 2021 9,640
Fall 2022 9,445
Fall 2023 9,487

Arkansas Tech has invested $180 million in upgrades to its infrastructure since 1995 and the university has added more than 40 new academic programs of study under the leadership of Robert C. Brown, who has served as president of Arkansas Tech since 1993. In April 2014, Robin E. Bowen was selected by the university trustees selected to succeed Brown. When she took office on July 1, 2014, she became the first woman to lead a four-year, public Arkansas university.[11] On September 9, 2023, the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees voted unanimously to fire Bowen and appoint Russell Jones as interim president.[12]

Facilities on National Register of Historic Places

Several Tech buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[13]

  • Caraway Hall — residence hall, renovated in 2005
  • Old Art Building — retired academic building, now known as Browning Hall, renovated in 2013 to house administrative offices
  • Hughes Hall — residence hall, renovated in 2010
  • Techionery — academic building, mainly used as a theatre shop and performance space by the ATU Theatre Department
  • Williamson Hall — academic building, renovated in 2003 to include kitchen facilities
  • Wilson Hall — residence hall

Academics

Student life

Residential halls

Greek system

Sororities
Service / co-ed
Music Greek fraternities and sororities

Athletics

Athletics logo used until 2023
Athletics logo (c. 1982)

Arkansas Tech participates in NCAA Division II athletics as a charter member of the Great American Conference. Tech was a member of the Gulf South Conference from 1995 to 2011. Previously, Tech was a member of the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. The university fields four men's and six women's varsity sports, as well as a club sports program:

Facilities

Baseball pitcher Bryson Morris in 2014

Arkansas Tech University has dual nicknames: men's athletic teams are called the Wonder Boys, while the women's teams are called the Golden Suns.

Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field
  • Chartwells Women's Sports Complex (tennis, softball)
  • Hull Building (Athletic Training, Athletic Performance Development, intramurals)
  • Tech Field (baseball, capacity 600)
  • Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field (football, capacity 6,500)
  • Tucker Coliseum (basketball/volleyball, capacity 3,500)

Nicknames

On November 15, 1919, John Tucker, a 17-year-old freshman from Russellville, scored two touchdowns and kicks two extra points to lead the Second District Agricultural School Aggies to a 14–0 upset win over Jonesboro. In newspaper accounts following the game, Tucker and his teammates were referred to as "Wonder Boys," and the nickname remains to this day. Tucker was labeled as "The Original Wonder Boy" and was associated with the school for the rest of his life. He went on to play on the University of Alabama's Rose Bowl team in 1931 and served Arkansas Tech in a variety of roles – including coach, athletic director and chemistry professor – between 1925 and 1972. Two buildings on the Tech campus – Tucker Coliseum and Tucker Hall – are named in his honor.[14]

Tired of being referred to as the Wonder Girls or Wonderettes, the female athletes of Arkansas Tech held a contest in the spring of 1975 to determine what their new mascot would be. Several names were nominated, but in the end, the athletes selected Golden Suns as their new nickname.[15]

Notable alumni

References

  1. ^ a b c "Enrollment Statistics | Arkansas Tech University". www.atu.edu. Retrieved August 29, 2022.
  2. ^ Academic Brand Standards Manual (PDF). Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  3. ^ AN ACT to provide for the establishment and maintenance of Public Schools of Agriculture in the State of Arkansas (Act 100). Arkansas General Assembly. 1909. The Second District shall be composed of the following counties: Marion, Boone, Carroll, Benton, Washington, Madison, Newton, Searcy, Van Buren, Conway, Pope, Johnson, Franklin, Crawford, Sebastian, Logan, Yell, Perry, Scott, and Faulkner
  4. ^ "Session at Old State House Evokes Memory of Act 100 and A-State's Founding". A-State News. Arkansas State University. July 2, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  5. ^ a b Smith, Doug (August 21, 2009). "100 and growing—ASU, Tech, SAU and UAM began humbly". Arkansas Times. Arkansas Times. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  6. ^ Silva, Rachel (2009). "Arkansas Listings in the National Register of Historic Places: One Hundred Years of Arkansas Tech University". The Arkansas Historical Quarterly. 68 (4): 442–450. JSTOR 40543604. Retrieved November 14, 2022. A board of trustees for the Second District Agricultural School had been appointed by September 1909 and tasked with finding a location for the school as well as the construction of school buildings, hiring of staff, and development of curriculum. In order to be considered as a site for the school, towns had to pledge at least $40,000 and 200 acres. Fort Smith, Morrilton, Ozark, and Russellville all submitted bids. Russellville's bid included $40,000, 220 acres, and free electricity and water for three years, and on February 10, 1910, the trustees announced that the Second District Agricultural School would be located there.
  7. ^ Silva, Rachel (2009). "Arkansas Listings in the National Register of Historic Places: One Hundred Years of Arkansas Tech University". The Arkansas Historical Quarterly. 68 (4): 442–450. JSTOR 40543604. Retrieved November 14, 2022. Designed in the Colonial Revival style, it was a three-and-one-half-story brick building with a tile roof. The building had two front-gabled wings connected by a recessed hipped roof section with dormer windows. The front and side entrances had arched openings accentuated by pilasters, a simple entablature, and a balustrade flush with the wall. When it opened, the Main Building had rooms for cooking, laundry, a soil laboratory, and an auditorium as well as the president's office and classrooms (Old Main was demolished in the 1970s).
  8. ^ Silva, Rachel (2009). "Arkansas Listings in the National Register of Historic Places: One Hundred Years of Arkansas Tech University". The Arkansas Historical Quarterly. 68 (4): 442–450. JSTOR 40543604. Retrieved November 14, 2022. Contracts were let in June 1910 for the construction of two men's dormitories, two women's dormitories, a dining hall, and a heating plant. Each dormitory accommodated thirty-five students.
  9. ^ Silva, Rachel (2009). "Arkansas Listings in the National Register of Historic Places: One Hundred Years of Arkansas Tech University". The Arkansas Historical Quarterly. 68 (4): 442–450. JSTOR 40543604. Retrieved November 14, 2022. Initially, the four agricultural schools offered a secondary (or high school) education in agricultural and technical subjects, but by the 1921–1922 school year the Second District Agricultural School offered freshman-level college classes.
  10. ^ Silva, Rachel (2009). "Arkansas Listings in the National Register of Historic Places: One Hundred Years of Arkansas Tech University". The Arkansas Historical Quarterly. 68 (4): 442–450. JSTOR 40543604. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  11. ^ LAKANA (April 22, 2014). "Election of New Arkansas Tech University President is Historic for State". Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  12. ^ "Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees vote terminates president without cause, appoints interim president". KLRT - FOX16.com. September 9, 2023. Retrieved September 10, 2023.
  13. ^ "National Register of Historical Places - ARKANSAS (AR), Pope County". Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  14. ^ Turrentine, G. R.; Tucker, John E. "History of Arkansas Polytechnic College" (PDF). Arkansas Tech University. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 20, 2014. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  15. ^ "Arkansas Tech University Athletics". Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  16. ^ Arkansas Hall of Distinction member
  17. ^ Doc Bryan Student Services Center
  18. ^ "Robert Dale, R-68". arkansashouse.org. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  19. ^ "Eliah Drinkwitz - Head Coach - Staff Directory". University of Missouri Athletics. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  20. ^ "Trevor Drown". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  21. ^ "Jane English's Biography". votesmart.org. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  22. ^ "Jon Eubanks, R-74". arkansashouse.org. Archived from the original on January 5, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  23. ^ Thomas DeBlack. "A Century Forward: The Centennial History of Arkansas Tech University." Walsworth Publishing Company. 2016.
  24. ^ "Kevin Her". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  25. ^ "Andrea Lea, R-71". arkansashouse.org. Archived from the original on January 2, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  26. ^ "Kelley Linck, R-99". arkansashouse.org. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  27. ^ "Wonder Boy Tanner Marsh for the Win!". Sporting Life Arkansas. September 4, 2013. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  28. ^ "Rebecca Petty's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved April 13, 2015.
  29. ^ "Marcus Richmond's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  30. ^ "Tray Scott - Football Coach".
  31. ^ "Greg Standridge's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
  32. ^ "Boyd Anderson Tackett". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  33. ^ "Steve Womack". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved June 21, 2013.

35°17′40″N 93°08′02″W / 35.294371°N 93.133783°W / 35.294371; -93.133783

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Arkansas Tech University
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