The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a Golden Gala on October 20th. The evening under the stars was held at the McLarty Family Home in Hope, Arkansas and highlighted four distinct eras of the College’s Fifty Years. The historic eras included the Red River Vocational-Technical School years, the joining of the Red River Vo-Tech to the University of Arkansas System, the establishment of the UACCH Foundation, and finally the addition of the U of A Texarkana Campus. These historic milestones were emphasized at the event with four large tents along the perimeter of the back lawn, connected by overhead strands of lights to illuminate the tables and guests seated below.
Representatives from each of the four eras were recognized as honorees for the evening and acknowledged for their leadership and dedication to the college. The 10 honorees for the evening included: Venita McCellon-Allen, Dr. Donald Bobbitt, Larry Dowd, John Goodson, Jerry Pruden, Bonnie Routon, J. W. Rowe, Ned Ray Purtle, Freddie Smith, and Dr. B. Alan Sugg.
To honor the 50 year milestone, Judy Wright Walter an artist from Texarkana who grew up in Hope, has been commissioned to create a metal sculpture that will be placed on the Hope Campus. Each of the ten honorees received a numbered and signed artist rendering of the sculpture; the honorees will be listed on a plaque placed with the finished sculpture on the campus.
The evening began with warmest welcomes to the family home by Mack, Bud, and Franklin McLarty. Guests then visited the four tents that were elegantly decorated by Hope Floral. Each housed a chef with their hors d’oeuvres for the guests. The elegant backyard gala was filled with laughter and sharing of stories among guests while the Texarkana Symphony Quartet performed on a stage nestled in the middle of the event. The evening was drawn to a close with brief remarks and thanks by Chancellor Chris Thomason.
For more information about the College and its 50 year history visit the college website at www.uacch.edu.