December 14, 1852
The Arkansas legislature granted Arkansas College in Fayetteville (Washington County) the state’s first charter to a degree-granting institution. The college soon had an enrollment of 200. The Restoration Movement has deep roots in Christian education, since individuals had to read and comprehend the Bible for themselves. Second Great Awakening leader Alexander Campbell founded Bethany College (a Christian academy and college) in 1840, in Bethany, Virginia, and began to produce educated and evangelically minded graduates, such as Robert Graham, founder of Arkansas College. Although the college came to an end, the pride that Fayetteville residents felt for Arkansas College was a catalyst when the city successfully bid to be the site of the state’s first public institution of higher learning, Arkansas Industrial University, later renamed the University of Arkansas (UA).