Investiture to take place on 141st anniversary of institution’s beginning
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff will mark 141 years of existence during Founder’s Celebration. The most noted event will be the investiture of UAPB Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander. This city-wide formal inaugural ceremony of the university’s 9th chancellor will be held Friday, April 25th – the exact date the institution was established in 1873. Overall Founder’s Celebration events will officially begin April 23rd and continue through April 27th, according to university officials. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Honoring the Legacy.”
Founder’s Celebration is a tradition that has continued for over 60 years, blending academics, social activities, and history in an effort to communicate not only the history of the University, but also the importance of remembering how history built the school into what it is today. The formal celebration of Founder’s Day can be dated back to 1943, during the administration of Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Sr. The original celebration lasted a full week, with officials making sure that the activities were varied and culturally rich, all while showing the growth that Arkansas AM&N had achieved.
The first day of Founder’s festivities will begin Wednesday with the 21st Annual Mary E. Benjamin Educational Access Conference. The conference is a university sponsored event that allows local educators to gain access to information and trends, to share research findings, and to acquire strategies to engage K-16 students in education. Qualifying educators can earn continuing education credits.
On April 24th, the Student Government Association will sponsor a kick-off event at 11 a.m. at the Shirley Jacobs Lion’s Den outside the L.A. Davis, Sr. Student Union. The campus also will engage in a community Service Day activity where UAPB students and staff will perform volunteer services at pre-designated local agencies throughout the day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
On Friday, April 26th from 2-5 p.m., the university will celebrate the investiture of UAPB Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander in the auditorium of the Pine Bluff Convention Center. Chancellor Lloyd V. Hackley received the last investiture in 1983, being ceremonially inducted as the fifth leader of the institution.
An investiture is the formal ceremony wherein the formal authority and symbols of high office are conferred upon the new leader. It is typically held during the new Chancellor’s first year in office, or at the conclusion of the first year. It is an academic ceremony which has symbolized the pursuit of knowledge since the Middle Ages. Today, colleges and universities view investitures as opportunities to welcome a new era and celebrate as a community. A reception will be held in the Convention Center Arena following the ceremony.
Founder’s Celebration will continue after the investiture at 7:30 p.m. with the student sponsored Legacy Fashion Show and concert – “Rip the Runway: Legacy Edition” in the Health Physical Education and Recreation building. UAPB students will model a collection of styles (for men and women) from the years 1970 to 2010. Students will serve as performers for period music.This event is free and open to the public.
On Saturday, April 26th at 8 a.m., early risers can participate in the National Alumni Association Walk-a-thon at the Pine Bluff Saracen Landing. For more information on participation or donations, contact the UAPB/AM&N National Alumni Association at 870-536-2309.
Another Founder’s tradition is the annual Black and Gold Game that will be held at 1 p.m. in Golden Lions Stadium. This year, the UAPB School of Education Literacy Institute will partner with Dr. Robert Anderson, Director of Dollarway Resource Development Center to sponsor a book give away during the game. Children, youths and adults are invited to attend this book festival.
Finally, on Sunday, April 28th, Founder’s Celebration will end with the Annual Sunrise Service at 6:30 a.m., in the Cross-Phipps Auditorium of Caldwell Hall. The Alumni Breakfast will follow immediately afterwards in the L.A. Davis, Sr. Student Union.
For more information, call the UAPB Information Office at 870-575-8946, or visit the website at www.uapb.edu/founders.