Entry Category: Campuses and Schools

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock (Pulaski County) is Arkansas’s premier research hospital. UAMS provides the state with a solid foundation of higher learning and financial support. It has a long history of serving the public by providing the indigent with quality healthcare and is one of the largest employers in Arkansas, providing almost 9,000 jobs, many of them professional. To some extent, the history of UAMS is the history of medicine in Arkansas. The Arkansas State Medical Association, formed in 1870, pressed the legislature to allow the legal dissection of cadavers—a major milestone in medical research and education. After the legislature’s approval in 1873, the state’s first dissection, performed by Drs. Lenow and Vickery, …

University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana (UAHT)

The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana (UAHT) is a fully accredited, comprehensive community college that provides the first two years of a traditional college education transferable to four-year colleges and universities, as well as multiple technical and industrial programs. Programs include bachelor’s and master’s degrees through distance education and numerous community service and continuing education opportunities. UAHT was founded as Red River Vocational-Technical School in Hope (Hempstead County) in 1965. In 1991, as part of a statewide movement to transform Arkansas’s technical schools into community colleges, the vocational-technical school was placed under the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) and renamed Red River Technical College. In 1995, the Arkansas General Assembly approved legislation that provided for the merger of two-year colleges …

University of Arkansas Rich Mountain

aka: Rich Mountain Community College
What became the University of Arkansas Rich Mountain (UA Rich Mountain) in 2017 is a public, two-year comprehensive community college located in Mena (Polk County). Its service area includes Polk, Scott, and Montgomery counties as well as portions of Sevier County and LeFlore County, Oklahoma. The college, known at that time as Rich Mountain Community College, was accredited in 1990 through the North Central Association for Colleges and Universities. In September 2014, enrollment was 1,003 students. The college was funded by the Arkansas General Assembly in 1973 under the auspices of the Arkansas Department of Vocational Education. The first classes began in the fall of 1975. At the time, the campus consisted of a single vocational-technical building. In 1983, the Arkansas …

University of Arkansas School of Law

Located in Fayetteville (Washington County), the University of Arkansas School of Law is part of the flagship campus at the University of Arkansas (UA). It is part of the University of Arkansas System. The school provides a three-year graduate law degree for students with four years of pre-law coursework. With a 25.9 percent minority enrollment, the school was recently ranked one of the most diverse in the nation by U.S News and World Report. It is also home to the National Agricultural Law Center and offers the nation’s only Master of Law degree in agricultural law. The school offers a student-run free legal clinic, publishes the Arkansas Law Review, and is home to the Young Law Library, the largest collection …

University of Arkansas System

Comprising multiple institutions of higher education and other divisions spread across Arkansas, the University of Arkansas System enrolls more students than any other system in the state. Growing from a single land grant institution into an organization that has a presence in every county in Arkansas, the system included twenty separate institutions and divisions by 2021. The system originated with the establishment of Arkansas Industrial University in Fayetteville (Washington County) in 1871. Serving as the state’s land grant institution as well as the only public institution of higher education in Arkansas, the university began its first session in 1872. The following year, Branch Normal School was established in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). Founded as part of the university to educate …

University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College

aka: Pulaski Technical College
The University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College (UA-Pulaski Tech) in North Little Rock (Pulaski County) is a comprehensive two-year college offering technical programs, a university-transfer program, and specialized programs for business and industry. The college’s mission is to provide access to high-quality education that promotes student learning, to enable individuals to develop to their fullest potential, and to support the economic development of the state. The college’s history dates back to October 1945, when it was established as the Little Rock Vocational School under the supervision of the Little Rock Public Schools. Until January 1976, the school met in a building at the corner of 14th Street and Scott Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County). In October 1969, administration of the …

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (UA)

The University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) is located in the northwest corner of the state. It is Arkansas’s land grant university and is famed for its traditions, including the unique Razorback mascot. The institution was originally named Arkansas Industrial University but changed in 1899 to the University of Arkansas, reflecting its broader academic scope. It has long been an academic and cultural mainstay in Arkansas, with its research generating a great deal of economic progress for the state and its Razorback athletic program being arguably the state’s most popular. UA’s Founding The U.S. Congress passed the Morrill Land Grant Act in 1862, allowing 30,000 acres of public lands to be sold in each state to supply funds for …

University of Central Arkansas (UCA)

The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) has been one of Arkansas’s leading institutions of higher education for more than 100 years. Beginning as a normal school (teacher’s training institution) with approximately 100 students in 1908, UCA has become a comprehensive PhD-granting institution with 11,350 students in 2017. UCA was created by the passage of Act 317 of 1907 as Arkansas State Normal School, the only institution of higher learning in the state created for the sole purpose of teacher training. On May 15, 1907, acting governor X. O. Pindall appointed the first board of trustees. Several cities submitted bids for the school, including Fort Smith (Sebastian County), Benton (Saline County), Quitman (Cleburne County), Russellville (Pope County), and Conway (Faulkner County). The …

University of the Ozarks

The University of the Ozarks is a fully accredited, private four-year college that offers baccalaureate degrees in twenty-seven liberal arts and pre-professional programs. Enrollment in the twenty-first century has ranged between 600 and 650 students, primarily from Arkansas, but with significant numbers from Texas, Oklahoma, and Central America. Students participate in a wide range of extracurricular activities and organizations. Men’s and women’s varsity athletic teams, the Eagles, compete in six different sports in the American Southwest Conference of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III. Located on a thirty-acre campus in Clarksville (Johnson County) and affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA), the university builds on a longstanding mission of social inclusiveness, academic rigor, and spiritual edification. The origins of the …

Velvatex College of Beauty Culture

In 1926, M. E. Patterson of Little Rock (Pulaski County) incorporated Velvatex College of Beauty Culture, then known as Velvatex Beauty College, which was the state’s only approved beauty school for people of color. (A history produced by the school, however, lists its beginning operation year as 1929.) The school was founded after Patterson, who had often done hairdressing in her home kitchen, chose to teach others the skills of the trade in a more formal educational setting—and to help men and women become entrepreneurs. Patterson dubbed the school “Velvatex” because she believed African-American hair emulated the feel of velvet. By the height of the Great Depression, many black-owned industries had taken a hit, but beauty salons were plentiful throughout …

W. F. Branch High School

Located in west Newport (Jackson County) on Arrington Avenue, W. F. Branch High School served as the town’s high school for black students until its closure in 1970. After the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas decision in 1954, some school districts in Arkansas, such as Charleston (Franklin County), Hoxie (Lawrence County), and Fayetteville (Washington County), desegregated successfully. In 1957, the attention of the nation focused on desegregation at Central High School in Little Rock (Pulaski County). The federal government allowed school districts to utilize the Freedom of Choice plan, which allowed for more gradual integration. In Newport, for example, the all-black Branch High School and the all-white Newport High School operated separately within the same district. In …

Waldron School Historic District

The Waldron School Historic District is located at the corner of West 5th and Cedar streets in Waldron (Scott County). Within the campus are two contributing buildings: the C. E. Forrester Building (Home Economics Building) and the Vocational Agriculture Building. Both buildings were constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the late 1930s and maintain a high level of integrity in the twenty-first century. The buildings were placed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 19, 2019. One of the most significant figures in the development of the Vocational Agriculture and Home Economics buildings was Charlie Edward (C. E.) Forrester. Forrester was born in Parks (Scott County) in 1871. After his mother died, he moved to Waldron …

Williams Baptist University

Williams Baptist University is a comprehensive liberal arts institution owned and operated by the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. Founded in Pocahontas (Randolph County) in 1941, the college was moved to Walnut Ridge (Lawrence County) in 1946. The university is one of two institutions of higher education affiliated with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, the other institution being Ouachita Baptist University (OBU) in Arkadelphia (Clark County). The impetus for the establishment of the university was first provided by Dr. Henry E. Watters, former president of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, who had hoped to revive Jonesboro Baptist College, an institution that had failed during the early years of the Great Depression. During the mid-1930s, Watters attempted to enlist support for the …

Winchester School for Mountain Boys

The Winchester School for Mountain Boys opened near Havana (Yell County) in 1921. Named after Bishop James R. Winchester, the Episcopal bishop of Arkansas from 1911 to 1932, the school was operated by the Episcopal Church and associated with St. Barnaba’s Mission in Havana. The Winchester School was a “mountain mission school,” a type of educational institution established during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to serve children in the mountainous regions of the South, particularly Appalachia and the Ozark Plateau. The Winchester School for Mountain Boys was funded by a group of women from Little Rock (Pulaski County) and first run by the Reverend Gustave Orth, locally revered as “the Apostle of the Mountains,” and later the Reverend E. …

Winthrop School Museum

The Winthrop School Museum, the location of the former Winthrop School, is located in a two-story brick schoolhouse building at 530 Spring Street in Winthrop (Little River County). The Winthrop School Museum is a monument to the educational and community history of Winthrop, and the building is a historical representation of a rural school building in the early twentieth century. As Winthrop’s population grew in the early twentieth century, the Winthrop School was built to replace a three-room rough-plank building, located on the same site, that had previously served as the school. Construction started on the Winthrop School in 1912, and it was completed the following year. According to the Little River County deed record books, on September 19, 1908, …

Wynne Normal and Industrial Institute

The Wynne Normal and Industrial Institute was a private primary and secondary school for African Americans founded in Wynne (Cross County) in 1901 by the Reverend W. F. Lovelace, DD, who served as the school’s principal. The school operated until 1924. Born in Lauderdale County, Tennessee, in 1862, Lovelace was a Baptist minister and educator who moved to Wynne in 1887 to pastor First Baptist Church. When he arrived in Wynne, the Cross County schools had 1,424 white students and 860 black students. In 1888, Lovelace became principal of Wynne’s public school for black students and remained in the position until 1894. In 1896, Lovelace was named principal of black schools in Stuttgart (Arkansas County). He was later asked to …

Yale Camp

Approximately one mile east of Crossett (Ashley County), just off U.S. Highway 82, is the site of what was once an important adjunct to the Yale University School of Forestry. Built in 1946, the spring camp for Yale students of forest management provided a hands-on educational experience until its closure in 1966. In the early 1900s, Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, was perhaps an unlikely location of the nation’s premier school of forest management. To supplement work in the classroom, the school provided a spring field trip to southern forests, visiting as the guest of a different lumber company each year, since northern forests might still be under snow at the time of the field trip. The first trip …