25 Years At A Glance

Take a walk down memory lane with us!  

1992 New Beginnings

South Arkansas Community College was established by a vote of the citizens of Union County on March 31, 1992. Voters approved forming a community college district for the county, merging Oil Belt Technical College and Southern Arkansas University-El Dorado Branch, and approving a tax levy to support the new college. The college is governed by a nine-member Board of Trustees initially appointed by Governor Bill Clinton. The Board of Trustees approved the appointment of a 16-member committee co-chaired by Billy McGehee and Dr. Kermit Parks. It made recommendations to the President and Board of Trustees on administrative structure, policy, and procedures and worked to unify the two institutions into a comprehensive community college. On April 14, 1992, the Board of Trustees elected Charles Thomas to be Board Chairman, appointed Dr. Ben Whitfield as President, and named the new college.

The original Oil Belt Vocational-Technical School, now known as the East Campus, located at 3696 East Main Road, opened its doors in August, 1967. After a name change and an expanded mission, it became Oil Belt Technical College in 1991. Oil Belt offered certificate level programs in health occupations and technical fields, adult basic education, and a variety of non-credit programs.

1992 - South Arkansas Community College Foundation reactivated

South Arkansas Community College Foundation reactivated.

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1992 - Ben Whitfield, Ph.D. selected as innaugural president

whitfieldBen Whitfield, Ph.D. was selected to serve as the first president of South Arkansas Community College.

1996 - Dedication of SouthArk Library

On September 24, 1996, a dedication was held in honor of the completion of construction and opening of the South Arkansas Community College library.

Later that year, on July 17, 1996 notification that South Arkansas Community College by mail ballot on July 15, 1996 of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education received continued Accreditation.

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1997 - Kathy Matlock, Ph.D. selected president

matlockSouth Arkansas Community College selected Kathy Matlock, Ph.D. to serve as the second president.

1998 - South Arkansas Outdoor Expo

expologoandpicFirst South Arkansas Expo sponsored by the South Arkansas Community College Foundation.

1998 - Billy McGehee Building renovation and Dedication.

South Arkansas Community College held a dedication service for the newly renovated Billy McGehee Building.

1998 - Writers' Ink First Issue

writers inkSouth Arkansas Community College published the first edition of Writers' Ink.

1999 - Between the Lines first issue

between the linesSouth Arkansas Community College published the first edition of Between the Lines.

2001 - Computer Technology Building constructed and dedicated

South Arkansas Community College held a dedication ceremony to celebrate the completion of construction and opening of the Computer Technology Building.

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2001 - South Arkansas Historical Journal first issue

historical journal ehs 1940The South Arkansas Historical Society published the first issue of the South Arkansas Historical Journal

2002 - Restoration and Dedication of 1905 El Dorado School Building as Administration Building

A dedication ceremony was held in honor of the renovation and re-opening of the 1905 El Dorado School building as the new South Arkansas Community College Administration Building.

2003 - Restoration and Dedication of WPA Gymnasium

South Arkansas Community College held a dedication ceremony for the newly restored and renovated 1940 Gym.

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2003 - Construction and Dedication of Workforce Development Building

A dedication ceremony was held to commemorate the end of construction and the opening of the Workforce Development Building on the east campus of South Arkansas Community College.

2004 - President George W. Bush speaks at SouthArk

On April 6, 2004, South Arkansas Community College hosted President George W. Bush at a Jobs Forum covering job training and the economy.

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2005 - Alan Rasco, Ed.D. selected president

rascoSouth Arkansas Community College selected Alan Rasco, Ed.D. to serve as their third president.

Later that year, South Arkansas Community College submitted their Accreditation Self-Study Report to the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

2005 - Inaugural SouthArk Lecture Series, Dr. “Red” Duke, Lecturer.

South Arkansas Community College hosted Dr. "Red" Duke as the first speaker in the newly formed Lecture Series.

2007 - SouthArk recruits students participating in the El Dorado Promise scholarship program

South Arkansas Community College begins recruiting students participating in the El Dorado Promise scholarship program established by Murphy Oil Corporation.

2009 - Barbara Jones, Ph.D. selected president

jonesSouth Arkansas Community College selected Barbra Jones, Ph.D. to serve as its fourth President.

2009 - Joint Groundbreaking for Health Science Center and El Dorado Conference and Student Center

On October 16, 2009, South Arkansas Community College hosted a joint groundbreaking for the Health Science Center and the El Dorado Conference and Student Center.

groundbreaking conferencecenter

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2011 - Dedication of Health Science Center

South Arkansas Community College hosted a dedication ceremony to commemorate the end of construction and the opening of the new Health Science Building.

2011 - El Dorado Conference and Student Center dedicated

On February 18, 2011, South Arkansas Community College held a dedication ceremony to unveil the newly constructed El Dorado Conference and Student Center.

invitation conference

 Pre-Opening Party, Feb 17, 2011

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Arkansas 9-11 Memorial unveiled

On September 10, 2011, The Arkansas 9-11 Memorial, which features a 700-pound wrecked steel beam from Tower 1 of New York’s World Trade Center, was unveiled at the South Arkansas Community College Outdoor Expo at the El Dorado Conference Center.

2011 - GP and TETRA donate to SouthArk's Process Technology Program

Georgia-Pacific Crossett Paper Operations and TETRA Technologies each donated to SouthArk’s process technology program. Funds will go toward contrition of the Hays Advanced Manufacturing Training Center.

2013 - SouthArk receives Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant

The South West Arkansas Community College Consortium was approved for a grant of nearly $8.5 million over three years. SouthArk’s portion of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant is $3.9 million, and it is designed with cutting-edge fields in mind.

2014 - Dedication of William R. and Cacilia Howard Heritage Plaza

On November 6, 2014, South Arkansas Community College hosted a dedication ceremony for The William R. and Cacilia Howard Heritage Plaza. This green space was funded through private donations raised by the SouthArk Foundation, and commemorates the educational history of the campus, as it has been home to three different colleges, El Dorado High School, Rogers Junior High School, and a number of other learning institutions.

2016 - SouthArk receives $780,000 grant from the Federal Economic Development Administration

South Arkansas Community College received a grant from the Federal Economic Development Administration in the amount of more than $780,000 to help fund construction of the new Hays Advanced Manufacturing Training Center on the East Campus.

2016 - SouthArk becomes a National Center for Construction Education and Research Accredited Training and Education Facility

South Arkansas Community College became a National Center for Construction Education and Research Accredited Training and Education Facility under the sponsorship of the Arkansas Department of Career Education.

2016 - SouthArk awarded a state workforce grant to implement Futures in Information Technology

SouthArk was awarded a state workforce grant of nearly $390,000 to implement Futures in Information Technology, designed to create a career pathway for students from high school into area information technology jobs.

2016 - South Arkansas Community College received reaffirmation of accreditation by our accrediting body.

South Arkansas Community College submitted their Accreditation Self-Study Report to the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and received reaffirmation from our accrediting body.

2017 - SouthArk Hosts 25th Anniversary Kickoff Event

On Thursday, March 30, 2017 - 25 years to the day of the official creation of South Arkansas Community College - SouthArk held its 25th Anniversary kickoff event.

2017 - AMTC Groundbreaking

 

On Friday, March 31, 2017, SouthArk held the AMTC Groundbreaking event. The event was well attended with great speakers. 

 

 


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