UAPB to commemorate 144 years during founders celebration

Branch Normal Building-web

Branch Normal Building circa 1875

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff will be celebrating 144 years of existence during Founders Celebration activities April 25-30. With the theme, “Expanding the Influence of Our Legacy,” events include time honored traditions and a few new additions.

Founders Celebration is a tradition that has been going on 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 Founders Day can be dated back to 1943, during the administration of Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Sr. The original chairman of the celebration, Butler T. Henderson, was head of the department of business and economics. In charge of a celebration that originally lasted a full week, Henderson made sure the activities during this time were varied and culturally rich, all while showing the growth that Arkansas AM&N had achieved.

The celebration will begin Tuesday, April 25 with a Growing the Pride Assembly at 11:00 a.m. in the Kenneth L. Johnson, Sr. HPER Complex. The day will conclude with a talent show hosted by the UAPB Vesper Choir at 7:00 p.m. in the Hathaway-Howard Fine Arts building.

The 24th Annual Mary E. Benjamin Conference on Educational Access marks day two of Founders Celebration. With a focus on technology and computer science in education, the day-long will feature workshops and plenary sessions to help educators better prepare students. The conference will be held in the STEM Conference Center and will also feature a pre-conference about the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship. More information about the conference is available via Dr. Vera Lang-Brown at or (870) 575-7008.

On Thursday, April 27, the Honors and Awards Assembly and Convocation will be held at 10:00 a.m. in the Kenneth L. Johnson, Sr. HPER Complex and will feature UAPB alumna Brittini R. Brown, Director for Student Affairs Assessment, Research, and Strategic Priorities at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

An art sale will begin festivities on Friday, April 28. Works from UAPB art students will be available for purchase from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. in the Hathaway-Howard Fine Arts building. The UAPB/AM&N National Alumni Association will sponsor an Alumni/Senior Mixer for May and December 2017 graduates that afternoon from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in the Henderson-Young business building. The event provides an opportunity for graduating seniors to network and meet alumni and chapter leaders. The 2017 ROTC Military Banquet will also be held at 6:00 p.m. in the STEM Building and will feature Colonel (retired) Nathaniel Todd. Later that evening, the UAPB Jazz Ensemble will host a concert at 7:00 p.m. in the Hathaway-Howard Fine Arts building.

Saturday, April 29 is full of activities that include the annual Alumni Association Walk-a-thon at 8:00 a.m. at Lake Saracen. New to the calendar this year is the “Roaring for the Community” service event. The brainchild of UAPB Student Christopher Ogburn, student organizations will branch out into the community to help with small repair/upgrade projects beginning at 8:00 a.m. To inquire about volunteering, contact Ogburn at (870) 820-8046. The day’s activities will end with an intrasquad Black and Gold Game at 1:00 p.m. at Golden Lion Stadium.

Founders Celebration comes to its conclusion on Sunday, April 30 with Sunrise Service 6:30 a.m. in the Cross-Phipps auditorium of Caldwell Hall. The keynote presentation will be delivered by UAPB alumnus Jamaal Nash-Dyer, associate minister of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The annual Alumni Breakfast will be held immediately after Sunrise Service in the STEM Conference Center.
For more information about Founders Celebration activities, contact Dr. Tracy Dunbar at (870) 575-7142/ or Donna Mooney at (870) 575-8375/ .



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