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ASU-Beebe: 90 Years of Education, 90 Days of Celebration


If you live in The Natural State, you’ll quickly discover that it’s not only teeming with lush forests, fish filled lakes, and wildlife, but also, numerous colleges and universities. The consensus in Arkansas communities toward our colleges and universities is an overwhelmingly positive one. As a state, we’re fortunate that there are numerous options for higher education, and one such place is Arkansas State University-Beebe.

ASU-Beebe is a public two-year institution located in the central part of the state, with its original campus in Beebe, Arkansas. It was originally founded in 1927 as the Junior Agriculture School of Central Arkansas, and it now spans the state with campuses located in Beebe, Heber Springs, Searcy, the Little Rock Air Force Base (in addition to online courses). Out of all Arkansas two-year institutions, ASU-Beebe continues to have one of the highest graduation and retention rates, in addition to small class sizes and full time tutoring opportunities.

In 2016 ASU-Beebe introduced a new mascot, the Vanguard, which is a stylized knight with sword drawn, symbolizing a group of people leading the way, or “leading the charge” in education. And as it approaches its 90th anniversary, the university is planning a series of events commemorating “90 Years of Education, 90 Days of Celebration.”

The event series begins with a lecture and book signing by author and ASU-Beebe graduate, Cara Brookins, on Tuesday, September 19th at 7 p.m. at the Searcy High School Performing Arts Center. Brookins’ book, Rise, How a House Built a Family, tells the story of how after escaping an abusive marriage, Cara embarked on building her own home, equipped only with her own manual labor and instructional YouTube videos. The book will be available for purchase at the ASU-Beebe campus bookstores. For ticket information and prices, visit https://asub.ticketleap.com/.

On Saturday, October 21, ASU-Beebe with host a “Climb and Dine” event alongside the Sugarloaf Heritage Council. Sugarloaf Mountain is one of Arkansas’ most famous landmarks. Its history dates back to the Louisiana Purchase when Native Americans and early explorers used it as a landmark. The hike to Sugarloaf’s panoramic views will begin at 9 a.m., followed by a free BBQ lunch at 11 a.m. at the pavilion on the Heber Springs campus. This is a free event, but those planning to attend should still register at https://asub.ticketleap.com/.

Another free event will take place on Saturday, October 28th at 7:30 p.m. at the Beebe Campus. This is a free community concert with American Idol winner Kris Allen. Kris is a native of Conway, Arkansas, and his Idol song “No Bounderies” and his version of “Heartless” both charted in the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. This event will be open to the public, and blankets and lawn chairs are encouraged. No outside food or drink will be permitted through the gates. While this is a free event, those planning to attend should register at https://asub.ticketleap.com/.

The final event of ASU-Beebe’s 90th anniversary celebration will take place on Veteran’s Day, Thursday, November 9th, starting at 12:30 p.m. on the main campus in Beebe. This is a celebration of ASU-Beebe’s close relationship with Little Rock Air Force Base and military students. Open to the public and all veterans, attendees should plan to register at https://asub.ticketleap.com/.

With a combined emphasis on its 90th anniversary and community, Interim Chancellor Roger Moore stated, “ASU-Beebe appreciates our communities for the great support provided to this university throughout the past 90 years. We hope everyone can celebrate this fall with us at one, or all, of these great events.”

At the end of the day, that is exactly what colleges and universities do for our cities here in Arkansas. The culmination of ideas, innovations, sports, learning, exciting events, and young people influence communities for the better. ASU-Beebe and its 90th anniversary celebrations are an example of the vibrant and life-giving ways higher education communities contribute to our cities and our state.

For more information about ASU-Beebe’s 90th anniversary events, contact Community Relations Coordinator Carissa Gillam at (501) 882-8957, or view the website at www.asub.edu. For more information about ASU-Beebe and programs offered, call (501) 882-3600.

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Arkansas Women Bloggers member Elizabeth Harrell is a native Arkansan, author, and freelance writer. Her book, My (not so) Storybook Life, was published in 2011. Her blog projects have been featured in At Home Arkansas, Apartment Therapy, Design Sponge, and Better Homes and Gardens. Visit her at https://elizabeth-harrell.com .

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