On Wednesday, the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a flag-raising ceremony to officially declare Conway the ?City of Colleges.?
Representatives from the University of Central Arkansas, Hendrix College and Central Baptist College were on hand as each flag was raised to the tune of each school?s alma mater.
The presidents of each school Lu Hardin, UCA; Tim Cloyd, Hendrix and Charles Atteberry, CBC spoke about the importance of recognizing the colleges? impact on the city.
UCA President Lu Hardin said the three colleges together have a direct impact of $160 million on the local economy.
He also announced a new statistic that was released last week from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education that ranks Faulkner County as having the second highest percentage of college graduates in the state with 25.2 percent. Pulaski County is first with 28 percent.
?That means one in five adults in Faulkner County has a college degree and that has occurred because of these colleges,? Hardin said.
The three colleges employee more than 1,500 employees and educate more than 11,000 each year.
Hendrix College is the city?s oldest college. It was moved from Altus, Ark., to Conway in 1890. The University of Central Arkansas was established as Arkansas State Normal School in 1907, and Central Baptist College was established in Conway in 1952.