From the Archives: UCA History

A Brief History of UCA

UCA’s Buildings “Who were they named for?”

UCA Distance Learning Center

UCA Football

UCA Student Health Services

UCA War Memorial

UCA World War II Memorial

Past UCA Presidents

A Brief History of UCA

The Arkansas State Legislature created The Arkansas State Normal School (now known as UCA) in 1907.  The purpose of The Arkansas State Normal School was to properly train students to become professional teachers and rid Arkansas of haphazard schoolteachers.  Classes began in 1908 with nine academic departments, one building on 80 acres, 107 students and seven faculty members.  Two faculty members taught in two departments and President Doyne taught pedagogy and Latin.

In 1925, Arkansas State Normal School became known as Arkansas State Teachers College.  The change in names accurately reflected the main program of instruction and mission of the institution.  Arkansas State Teachers College was known for decades as the premier teacher training college in the State of Arkansas.

By 1967, the mission of Arkansas State Teachers College had changed.  Though teacher training was still an important part of the institution’s mission, other fields began to expand in liberal arts studies and in the emerging field of health care.  To recognize the institution’s existing academic diversity another name change was in order.  In January 1967, Arkansas State Teachers College became State College of Arkansas.

President Silas Snow, who championed the name change in 1967, organized State College of Arkansas along university lines in preparation for still yet another name change.  State College of Arkansas grew rapidly and offered an ever-widening range of degree programs. By January of 1975, Snow’s efforts were realized as the State Department of Higher Education recommended State College of Arkansas be known as The University of Central Arkansas (UCA).

Today, the University of Central Arkansas has more than 10,000 students, over 400 full time faculty, 75 undergraduate degree programs, 35 graduate programs, and 81 buildings on 301 acres of land.  Situated conveniently in the geographic center of the State of Arkansas, UCA traditionally enrolls students from each of Arkansas’ 75 counties.



UCA’s Buildings “Who were they named for?”


BARIDON HALL – 1940 First Baridon & 1992 Second Baridon

Named for Ida Baridon, the foster child of Asa Robinson, the founder of Conway. Ida was married to Jo Frauenthal, a Conway businessman who was influential in bringing UCA to Conway in 1907.


BEAR HALL – 2012

Bear Hall is a residence hall that also houses Estes Stadium skyboxes on the top floor.



Bernard Hall was occupied for the first time on September 12, 1939. The dedication ceremony was held on November 26, 1939 in Ida Waldran Auditorium. Bernard Hall, McCastlain Hall (named Commons at the time) and the heat plant were all dedicated on the same day. Mary Augusta Bernard came to UCA in 1912 and was instructor of Drawing and Penmanship. She was later promoted to the rank of professor and head of the Department of Art. She held this position until her death in 1933.



Brewer-Hegeman is named after two Chief Executive Officers of Conway Corporation, Jim Brewer and Bill Hegeman. James H. “Jim” Brewer served as Chief Executive Officer of Conway Corporation from 1965 to 1991. Brewer was succeeded by his longtime friend and assistant, William “Bill” Hegeman, who was Chief Executive Officer from 1991 to 1998.



Harvey A. Buffalo, a 1932 graduate of UCA, donated $250,000 to UCA to help with the purchase of Buffalo Alumni Hall. Buffalo had a long career in the U.S. Foreign Service. He later became an entrepreneur and investor after leaving the Foreign Service. Buffalo Alumni Hall underwent renovations in 2020 adding a large addition to the backside of the building.



Alger E. Burdick came to UCA in 1937 as an instructor in social studies. In 1947 he was named chairman of the Department of Geography. He became academic dean in 1954. The title of academic dean has been replaced by the current position of Provost. He retired from UCA in 1976.



Maude Carmichael began her teaching career at UCA in 1923 as associate professor of History. In 1925 she was promoted to full professor and received her Ph.D. from Radcliff College in 1935. Dr. Carmichael retired from the faculty of UCA in 1953. In 2020, Carmichael Hall was renovated and acted as the quarantine space for the COVID-19 Pandemic.



Christian Cafeteria is named for Elizabeth L. Christian. Ms. Christian came to UCA as an instructor in the Home Economics Department in 1920. She was promoted to associate professor in Home Economics and served in this capacity until 1930.



The College of Business is housed in the building, which replaced Burdick Hall as the home of the College of Business.



This building is named for Conway Corporation, the public utility that has donated millions of dollars to colleges and schools in Conway.



Charles Crockett Denney, better known as C.C. Denney, came to UCA as professor of Education in 1911. Denney served as professor and head of the Department of Education until 1942.



Donaghey Hall is named for George Washington Donaghey, the 22nd governor of Arkansas. Donaghey was also very influential in bringing Arkansas State Normal School to Conway.


DOYNE HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER – 1913 First Doyne & 1975 Second Doyne

John James (J.J.) Doyne was UCA’s first president and first employee. His initial contract was for two-years with a salary of $2,500 per year. Doyne hired six faculty members his first year and also taught Latin and Pedagogy in the classroom. He resigned the presidency in March 1917. Doyne and his wife, Ida, had three sons. Two of the boys died as children, and one child, Charles Russell Doyne, died in 1942 at the age of 56.  J. J. Doyne died in 1944 at the age of 85 years, 10 months, and 3 weeks old.



The football stadium is named after Guy “Big Dan” Estes, who taught mathematics at UCA and served as coach of all men’s sports. Coach Estes continued as coach until 1933. He served in World War I and taught courses in aviation during World War II to Navy cadets who were in training at UCA. Estes was very popular throughout the state of Arkansas as an educator and as an avid sportsman. He died on November 13, 1944 of a heart attack while duck hunting west of Mayflower, Arkansas.



The Farris Center is named for Jefferson Farris Sr., not Dr. Jefferson Farris Jr., the UCA President. Jeff Farris Sr. was the head of the Department of Health and Physical Education from 1943 until his death in February 1961. He was succeeded by his son, Dr. Jeff Farris Jr.



This building was named in honor of UCA’s sixth president, Dr. Jefferson D. Farris, Jr. Dr. Farris served as president from 1975 to 1986. During his presidency, the Honors College came into existence.



Ferguson Chapel was named after Dr. W.C. Ferguson, Sr. Dr. Ferguson was UCA’s second dean of the college. He succeeded A.J. Meadors and served from 1942 until his death in 1954. This position has had various titles in recent years including Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.


HARRIN HALL – 1929 Original Building & 1999 Major Renovation

Frank Hector Harrin is the man for whom Harrin Hall is named. He served in various capacities at UCA spanning a twenty-six year period. He came to UCA in 1915 and departed in 1943 to join Arkansas College in Batesville, Arkansas.



Olin L. Hughes joined the UCA faculty in 1943 as assistant professor of Mathematics. He later became professor and chair of the Mathematics Department. He remained at UCA until 1969.


IRBY HALL – 1949 First Irby Hall & 1993 Second Irby Hall

Nolen M. Irby was UCA’s fourth president and succeeded the popular Colonel Heber L. McAlister. Dr. Irby also had a military background and was a captain during World War I. Irby was inaugurated as president on November 14, 1941, and remained president until July 1, 1953.


MANION CHEMISTRY BUILDING – 1947 First Laney, 1994 Second Laney, & 2020 Renamed Manion

Laney-Manion Chemistry Building was named for two people, former Governor Ben T. Laney and former UCA Professor of Chemistry, Dr. Jerald “Jerry” Monroe Manion.

Ben T. Laney was a 1924 graduate of Arkansas State Normal School (now the University of Central Arkansas) and was elected governor of Arkansas in 1944. He is best known for creating the Revenue Stabilization Act, which forbids deficit spending among agencies of Arkansas state government. Governor Laney is also recognized as the driving force behind the building of the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion. Governor Laney never lived in the mansion. His successor, Governor Sidney McMath, was the first governor to live there. Governor Laney was born in 1896 and died in 1977.

Dr. Manion, a native of Beebe, Arkansas, earned a Doctor of Philosophy in organic chemistry from the University of Mississippi in 1965. He began his 49-year career at Arkansas State Teachers College (now the University of Central Arkansas – UCA) that same year. Dr. Manion was appointed chair of the UCA Department of Chemistry in 1965, and held that position until 1992. He served three terms as Faculty Senate President, and was the 1999 Public Service Award Winner. In 2010, alumni honored Dr. Manion with the Jerald M. Manion Endowed Fund for Chemistry scholarship, given annually to an outstanding chemistry student. Dr. Manion was born in 1940 and died in 2014.


In 2020, a petition by the Student Government Association to drop the name Laney from the building acquired over 2,000 signatures. This petition was created in light of the racial injustices that have occurred and to recognize the diversity of the campus. Due to Laney’s leadership in the Dixiecrat movement the SGA strongly urged the University’s leadership to remove Laney’s name to better commit to the University to diversity. The Board of Trustees unanimously voted to remove the name. Manion was left to honor Dr. Jerry Manion’s years of service.



Dr. Lewis joined the faculty of UCA in 1943 as chairman of the Department of Education. He later was promoted to dean of Graduate Studies and remained in this position until he retired in 1972. Construction began on the building in 1965 and it was completed in 1966. It was called “The Science Center” until it was named for Lewis in January 1972. The Board of Trustees voted on December 15, 1971 to name it for Lewis


MAIN HALL – 1919

Main Hall was originally known as the Administration Building. This building was completed in the spring of 1919 and is constructed of red brick and Batesville marble. It is two stories high and has a basement. All administrative offices were housed in this building along with nineteen classrooms and four large basement halls. The contractor of Main Hall was former Governor George W. Donaghey, who served as the governor of Arkansas from 1909 to 1913. The construction cost of Main Hall was $107,000 in 1919. Main Hall celebrated its 100th year in 2019.



Dr. J. Don Mashburn, an alumnus of UCA and a medical doctor from Silver Spring, Maryland, is married to the former Mary Lou Johnson, a graduate of UCA. Dr. and Mrs. Mashburn made a gift to UCA to be used for an endowed chair and an institute in education.



One of UCA’s most popular presidents, Colonel Heber L. McAlister was a veteran of World War I and World War II. He became UCA’s third president on July 1, 1930 and continued to serve in this capacity until his army reserve unit was called up in 1941. McAlister was the senior officer of the 153rd Regiment and served in Alaska. He resigned the presidency on July 26, 1941.


McCASTLAIN HALL – 1939 original & 1963 addition

McCastlain Hall was initially known as Commons and was the first stand-alone cafeteria at UCA. The main dining hall held 52 tables that accommodated six students each. The building was dedicated along with Bernard Hall and the steam plant on November 26, 1939. The program was held in Ida Waldran Auditorium. In 1995, the UCA Board of Trustees changed the name of Commons to McCastlain Hall. Orville Wright McCastlain of Holly Grove was a 1934 graduate of UCA and was a Monroe County farmer and businessman. He was a record-setting athlete while a student at UCA. Mr. McCastlain established a charitable lead trust that greatly aided this institution and was the largest in UCA’s history when it was made in 1989.



Andrew Jackson Meadors, better known as A.J., was UCA’s first Dean of the College. This position is known today as “Provost.” Meadors joined the faculty of UCA in 1909 and became dean in 1921. He served in this capacity until 1942.



Minton Hall is named for Hubert L. Minton. Dr. Minton came to UCA in 1924 and became the head of the geography department in 1927. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1937 and remained as head of the Geography Department until 1947. While serving as head of the geography department he also was director of extension and public relations. Razed in 2010.


NEW HALL – 1999

The four-story New Hall was built in 1999 and is located on the west side of the UCA Campus.



Donald W. Reynolds was a media mogul who owned more than 100 businesses in newspaper, radio, television, cable television and outdoor advertising. He founded the Donrey Media Group and created the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. His foundation has donated huge sums of money to various organizations that has benefited millions of people.



Stanley Russ Hall is named for State Senator Stanley Russ of Conway. Senator Russ, a Conway resident, represented Faulkner County and parts of neighboring counties during his twenty-six years in the Arkansas State Senate.


SCHICHTL – 1917 & 1992 Major Renovation

Marie Schichtl came to UCA in 1920 after receiving a two-year degree, the Licentiate of Instruction from UCA. She later earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree and became head of the Department of Art. She remained in this position until she retired from UCA in 1967. She is the longest serving employee of UCA with 47 years of service.



Gilbert Young Short was a student at UCA and received the Licentiate of Instruction in 1912. He came back to UCA in 1916 as a faculty member. In 1915 be came assistant registrar and continued to serve as registrar until his retirement from UCA in 1953.



Silas D. Snow has the distinction of being UCA’s longest serving president. He became president on October 29, 1953 and continued as president until June 30, 1975. Snow was a graduate of UCA and saw the institution through two name changes. When Snow was hired as president UCA was known as Arkansas State Teachers College. In 1967 the name was changed to State College of Arkansas. And in 1975 another name change occurred and the institution came to be known as The University of Central Arkansas.



Dr. Win Thompson was UCA’s second longest serving president. His career at UCA began on April 1, 1988, and continued until December 2001. Dr. Thompson came to UCA from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where he served as a Vice-president. Dr. Thompson is well known for his building and renovation programs at UCA that totaled 125 million dollars. He also created academic programs that brought two doctoral degrees to UCA. These two doctoral programs are in school psychology and physical therapy.



Torreyson Library is named for Burr Walter Torreyson, UCA’s second president. Dr. Torreyson, known as B.W. Torreyson, was known as a strict disciplinarian with a good sense of humor. He took over as president from J.J. Doyne in 1917, and served until July 1, 1930. He was succeeded by Heber L. McAlister. Dr. Torreyson died on May 29, 1932.



Miss Waldran was a member of the UCA’s first faculty in 1908. She was a member of the English department and also served as Dean of Women. Miss Waldran died on March 14, 1937. She was very well liked and popular member of the faculty. The first name of the auditorium was Ida Waldran Memorial Chapel.



Wingo Hall was named for Otis T. Wingo. Mr. Wingo was born June 18, 1877 in Weakly County, Tennessee, but later resided in DeQueen, Arkansas. Mr. Wingo was an attorney, and he also served the state as State Senator from 1907-1910 and served UCA as a trustee from 1907-1910. He was elected to the U.S. Congress as Representative from the Fourth District of Arkansas in 1913. He served in this capacity until his death in on October 21st, 1930 in Baltimore, Maryland. He had two children; son-Otis T. Wingo Jr., and daughter-Janie Blanche Wingo. His wife, Emogene Locke Wingo filled his seat in Congress and was elected on her own to the 72nd Congress.




UCA Distance Learning Center

A Humble Beginning in 1918

Arkansas State Normal School (now the University of Central Arkansas-UCA) was created to rid the state of haphazard teachers.  The vast majority of Arkansas teachers in the late 19th century and early 20th century, had no college experience.  In fact, as late as 1927 Arkansas had 80,000 students whose teachers had a high school diploma or less.  And, of those 80,000 students, 40,000 were taught by teachers who had an eighth grade education or less.  Arkansas State Normal School was created in 1907 to educate men and women in the art of teaching and rid the state of uneducated classroom instructors.

In order to utilize every opportunity to educate Arkansans, The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) under the leadership of President B.W. Torreyson, decided to offer correspondence courses.  Torreyson was heavily influenced to offer extension courses by Dr. Frank Harrin.  Dr. Harrin had taught extension courses for the University of Arkansas while teaching at Little Rock High School.  Torreyson agreed with Harrin that extension courses needed to be offered by UCA, but wanted to wait until World War I was over to offer the courses.

The December 28, 1918 edition of the Log Cabin Democrat carried the following:

 A feature of much interest which will be inaugurated by the Normal with the opening of the winter term will be a system of correspondence instruction for those unable to attend the school in person.  Twenty different courses embracing as much of the entire curriculum as possible to be given by mail and including work in every department is offered in this work.

In the fall of 1920, four plans of study had been created.  Extension work (correspondence courses) was being done by mail, home study groups were held and overseen by UCA instructors, in “mixed groups” that were taught by several faculty members-each lecturing on a particular topic, and “vitalizing courses” which called for organized groups to read specific books and discuss the books within the group.  The titles of the first books used in vitalizing courses are as follows:  Evolution of Dodd, Penrod, Phelps and His Teachers, Jean Mitchell’s School and Emmy Lou. In a September 2003, check of UCA’s Torreyson Library, only Evolution of Dodd and Penrod are still on the shelf.  The other three books have been removed from the library’s holdings.

The number of students engaged in extension work was at first a trickle.  However, in just a short time there were more students enrolled in extension courses than there were in the resident classes.  In May 1919, only ninety-one students were enrolled in extension courses, but by October 1921 that number had increased dramatically.  In 1928 there were 935 students enrolled in the regular session, 1,945 in the summer session, 2,245 were taking correspondence courses and 4,138 were in classes or study clubs in various Arkansas cities. So, in 1928 a total of 9,263 students were being educated either on or off campus by the University of Central Arkansas.

The first extension class was held in Plumerville, Arkansas, in the fall of 1921, and was taught by Dr. Frank Harrin.  Other classes were held at Clarksville and Paragould with Professor Denney instructing.  Dora B. Smith instructed a class at Wooster and also at Greenbrier, and Daisy Dickerman taught the Mayflower extension class.  All of these classes had at least twenty-five students.  The largest class was taught by Professor Denney at Paragould and had seventy-five students. These classes met for two hours every other week for a period of sixteen weeks, and were worth one hour of credit.



UCA Football

Football began at UCA, formerly the Arkansas State Normal School, the same year the Normal officially opened, 1908.  The first coach was O.D. Longstreth, and his assistant coach was W.O. Wilson.  Coach Longstreth’s 1908 team had fifteen players, and they are as follows: Harold Hamilton, George Longstreth, Zeno Holt, Joe Herring, Clarence Sherin, Oscar Smith, Bruce Frizzell, Earnest Douglass, Aubrey Adney, E.L. Wray, W.H. Malloch, Martin Downing, Monroe Campbell, Clarence Renfrow, and Edgar Holliman.

The colors for UCA were decided that first year, and according to an article in the November 24th, 1908 edition of the Log Cabin Democrat, were said to be purple and silver.  The article also reported that nearly all Arkansas State Normal School students were wearing the newly adopted colors. Today the official colors for all UCA sports teams are purple and gray.

Even though the colors of UCA sports teams were decided on early in its existence, the same cannot be said of its mascot, the Bears.  It wasn’t until 1920 that the UCA athletic teams had a mascot.  According to Dr. Ted Worley, author of A History of The Arkansas State Teachers College, the UCA teams from 1908-1919 were referred to by many names, including: Tutors, Teachers, Pedagogues, Pea-Pickers and Normalites.  In 1920 the Bears became the mascot for the teams.  However, it wasn’t until April 7, 1921 that the teams were called “Bears” in print.  Dr. Worley also quoted sources as saying the Bear was an appropriate symbol for the school because Arkansas’ nickname was the “Bear State.”



UCA Student Health Services

The Dorothy A. Long Student Health Services Department at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) had a humble beginning with the hiring in September 1937, of Lucy Jane Brannon, R.N.  Ms. Brannon had a bachelor of science degree from Arkansas State Teachers College and received her medical training at St. Vincent’s Infirmary in Little Rock and Belleview Hospital in New York City.  As UCA’s college nurse she received a salary of fifty dollars per month and free room and board.  The next year she received a raise to fifty-five dollars per month and free room and board.  Even though UCA’s first nurse begin caring for students in 1937, it wasn’t until 1943 that this fact was mentioned in UCA’s catalog.

Motivated by new regulations passed by the American Association of Teachers Colleges, UCA began in 1938 to improve the healthcare offered to students.  According to the April 26, 1938, report of the UCA Board of Trustees, the following provisions were made for student healthcare.

That an examination and hospitalization fee of $1.50 per semester and fifty cents for each term in summer session be charged all students to cover:

(1) Cost of physical examination by a physician at least once each year.

(2) Hospitalization, which will include room and board and general operating room for emergency operations, for one week.

       The first mention of student healthcare in UCA’s catalog was in 1943.  The catalog for the 1943-1944 academic year reads as follows in regards to student healthcare:

The College Health Service is under the direct supervision of a practicing physician. A registered nurse, who lives in the girls’ dormitory, is available to all students for consultations or emergency service. No charge is made by the College for the nurse’s service. The service of any physician called for a student will be paid for by the student. Arrangement has been made with the State Department of Health to make available to all students, without extra cost, the tuberculin test for tuberculosis and the Wassermann test for syphilis.

       Beginning in the fall of 1944, the test for tuberculosis was made mandatory for entering first-time students.  The test for syphilis remained optional.

In the fall of 1949, another mandatory health requirement came into being; a physical examination for all entering freshmen and transfer students. The test for tuberculosis remained compulsory.  The college catalog for the 1955-1956 academic year went into considerable detail when speaking of the required physical examination by stating:

A medical examination is required at the time a student is registered each fall. This examination is made by the student’s own physician; and a report of its results must be filed in the office of the college dispensary. An appropriate form for this report may be obtained from the college nurse of the Office of the Dean.  A student must also undergo a tuberculin test each fall. Normally such a test is provided free of charge by the State Department of Health, which sends a mobile chest X-ray to the campus each fall and summer.

       In 1947, Ten years after the hiring of UCA’s first college nurse, the student healthcare program expanded somewhat by operating two infirmaries, one for women and one for men.  The women students were treated in Bernard Hall and the men students were treated in Doyne Hall (briefly) and later in Veterans Infirmary. Hospitalization was available to all students and the basic benefits were virtually the same as those outlined in the 1938 board minutes mentioned earlier.

Doyne Hall was used for just a short time as the men’s infirmary.  Due to the large number of male veterans returning to college after World War II had ended, the men’s infirmary came to be known as “Veterans Infirmary.”  Veterans Infirmary had a capacity of 20 beds and included a lobby and office space.  The construction of Veterans Infirmary came about through the allocation of surplus war plant property.

The addition of Veterans Infirmary was needed due to the great influx of veterans who were going to college on the G.I. Bill.  Literally millions of Americans had put their education on hold to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II.  When the war finally ended, college campuses across America were inundated with male veterans who were seeking their degree.

Veterans Infirmary operated from the fall of 1948 to the spring of 1955.  As the number of veterans and male students in general declined due to graduation, and the student population returned to more traditional-aged college students, the necessity for a separate infirmary ended.    Beginning in the fall of 1955 both men and women students were treated in Bernard Hall.  However, while both sexes were given medical attention in the Bernard Hall clinic, only the female students actually had use of the infirmary.  There was no provision for men in the way of bed space in the infirmary after the spring of 1955.

In the 1958 North Central Association Self-Survey Report, it is noted that a practicing physician had been retained by UCA to oversee the health program, and that a registered nurse resided on campus to administer the program.  Also a college dispensary located in Bernard Hall was available to students at all times and an infirmary for women students was located next to the dispensary.  In addition, the agreement made with the Faulkner County Hospital in 1958 was virtually identical to the services initially offered in the1938 agreement.

The language used in the 1967-1968 catalog regarding student healthcare closely resembles that of the 1950’s.  The first paragraph under health service is descriptive of the clinic’s purpose, goals and structure.

Recognizing the importance of sound health, the College takes every precaution to safeguard the health of its students.  The services of a practicing physician are retained for the supervision of its health program.  A college dispensary in Bernard hall is available to students at all times.  Adjoining the dispensary is an infirmary for women students.  Two registered nurses reside on the campus and are in charge of these facilities.

      The student was still required to receive a physical examination in order to enter UCA, and he or she would still receive medical care from the local hospital, but no mention was made of a tuberculin test being mandatory.  It could be argued that if a student had tuberculosis it could be discovered during the mandatory physical examination, or that tuberculosis had been virtually eradicated in the United States, thus making the long-standing policy of a mandatory tuberculosis test irrelevant.  However, foreign students who wish to attend UCA still must undergo a skin test for tuberculosis.

Small changes in the overall policy regarding student’s health continued to take place as evidenced by the 1977-1978 catalog.  The catalog addresses the issue of students who may suffer from mental or physical conditions that make them a danger to other students.  The catalog reads as follows:

The student whose mental condition prevents adjusting satisfactorily to the general pattern of campus life, or whose physical condition endangers the health of other students, may be required to withdraw from the University.

       The 1977-1978 catalog goes on to state that medical and hospitalization insurance is available on a voluntary basis.  Students were not required to purchase this health insurance, but were strongly encouraged to do so.

By the fall of 1980 increased student enrollment called for an increase in the number of nurses on staff.  According to the 1981 Scroll, UCA Student Health Services had four full-time registered nurses who provided care 24 hours a day.  The number of registered nurses had formerly been two.  Also, there were three Conway physicians whose services were readily available to the students. The clinic maintained regular daytime operating hours and the nurses were on call at night and on the weekends.  In addition, the UCA Department of Public Safety (now the UCA Police Department) provided transportation to students who needed rides to doctors’ offices or to obtain prescription medicine from a pharmacy.  For several reasons the UCA Department of Public Safety discontinued this service.

Overtime the requirement of a physical examination for admission to UCA was dropped.  However, in its place is the current requirement for each person seeking to register at UCA to present evidence of his or her immunization records.  In the September 17, 1987 edition of The Echo, it was reported:  “Students will be denied class registration and grades will be withheld if immunization records are not provided for the Health Services Department.”  The new policy was created to comply with a decision passed by the Arkansas State Legislature in March 1987, to require students in public and private colleges to show proof of immunization against measles and rubella.

For a short period of time in the late 1980’s, UCA Student Health Services was moved from Bernard Hall to a house on the north side of Bruce Street.  However, this location on the northern periphery of the campus proved too inaccessible for patients and Health Services was soon moved back to Bernard.  Bernard was well liked because of its central location.

In February 1987, about the same time as the move from Bernard Hall to Bruce Street, the UCA Student Health Services was renamed by the UCA Board of Trustees to Dorothy A. Long Student Health Services.  Long had been the Dean of Women, and also taught mathematics at UCA for many years.

Today, the Dorothy A. Long Student Health Services is housed in its own building, the Student Health Building, and consists of a group of dedicated health care professionals and support staff providing much-needed service to students, faculty and staff.  The addition of a doctore, and the Advanced Practice Nurses has enabled Student Health Services to be more comprehensive in providing healthcare to its patients.

The current staff consists of one Medical Doctor, two Advanced Practice Nurses (APN’s), five Licenced Practical Nurses (LPN’s), three Registered Nurses (RN’s), one secretary and two assistants.

Services have increased greatly in the past few years, and are listed on the Student Health Clinic webpage. Each semester a $65 Student Health Fee is included in tuition which makes students eligible to use most of their services for FREE.  Some of their services, such as a TB Skin test, require a small fee for the cost of replacement supplies. Faculty and staff members pay a five-dollar fee for each visit.  Approximately 1,100 patients are treated each month in the clinic.



UCA War Memorial


PV1 WILLIAM H. CONGER                                         ARMY

PFC PHILLIP G. GILLHAM                                         ARMY



CAPT TROY G. COPE                                                 AIR FORCE

1LT MELVIN E. MAHAR                                            ARMY

1LT RICHARD N. McLEOD, JR.                                ARMY



PO3 SAMUEL M. BOYCE                                           NAVY

MAJ CHAMBLESS M. CHESTNUTT                         AIR FORCE

MAJ CHARLES E. DARR                                            AIR FORCE

WO1 DARRELL L. HAGGARD                                  ARMY

SGM RAYMOND L. LONG, JR.                                  ARMY

PO2 RALPH L. McCOY, JR.                                         NAVY

CPL RONALD L. PENDERGIST                                 ARMY

SP4 GARY D. POLK                                                     ARMY

PFC GREGORY K. REEVES                                      MARINE CORPS

SP4 RICHARD F. WELLS                                          ARMY

SP4 DONALD N. WHITE                                           ARMY

SGT THOMAS F. YOUNG                                         MARINE CORPS



CW3 DONOVAN L. BRILEY                                        ARMY



CP0 ADAM L. BROWN                                                  NAVY

HM2 MICHAEL V. JOHNSON, JR.                                NAVY

CPT GUSSIE M. JONES                                                 ARMY

CPL DUSTIN L. KENDALL                                          ARMY

LTC PAUL W. KIMBROUGH                                        ARMY

2LT STUART F. LILES                                                  ARMY

SGT MICHAEL R. STURDIVANT                               ARMY


UCA World War II Memorial


SGT. FRED AIKEN                                                        ARMY
LT. ARTHUR H. ALLEN                                                ARMY AIR FORCES
SGT. MILFORD PETE ATKINSON                               ARMY AIR FORCES
LT. JACK BALDRIDGE                                                 ARMY
ENS. RAY BARNETT                                                    NAVY
PFC. JARRELL M. BRYANT                                         ARMY
LT. EDWARD W. BUTLER, JR.                                    ARMY AIR FORCES
SGT. NORMAN RAY BYRN                                        ARMY AIR FORCES
SGT. JOHNNIE CALLAHAN                                       ARMY
CAPT. OPIE CHICK                                                      ARMY
LT. COL. JOSEPH A. DAY, SR.                                    ARMY
LT. JAMES A. DEBELL                                                 NAVY
CPO. TROY DEERE                                                     NAVY
CAPT. JOHN C. FORD                                                  ARMY AIR FORCES
LT. RAY BOB FOSTER                                                ARMY AIR FORCES
LT. CHARLES M. FRIZZELL                                      ARMY AIR FORCES
PFC. LEO HAMBERG                                                   ARMY
CAPT. LOUIS P. INGRAM                                              ARMY AIR FORCES
SGT. ORLAND D. JONES                                               MARINE CORPS
LT. WILLIAM E. KENNAMER                                          ARMY AIR FORCES
SGT. JAMES H. MABRY                                                ARMY
LT. ROBERT H. MADDOX                                              ARMY AIR FORCES
LT. ELIZABETH B. MCGUIRE                                         WOMEN’S ARMY CORPS
LT. REYNOLDS MIDDLETON                                         ARMY AIR FORCES
CAPT. ROBERT T. MILLS                                              ARMY AIR FORCES
CAPT. RAYMOND A. MITCHELL                                    ARMY AIR FORCES
LT. ARVILLE MORRIS                                                  ARMY AIR FORCES
LT. ROBERT C. MURPHY                                                ARMY AIR FORCES
PFC. CLAY A. NIX JR.                                                ARMY
LT. RALPH L. PEMBERTON JR.                                      ARMY AIR FORCES
LT. JAMES N. PHILLIPS                                               ARMY AIR FORCES
CAPT. THOMAS J. ROBBINS                                         ARMY
ENS. CHARLES L. ROGERS                                         NAVY
LT. LAWRENCE RUSHING                                            ARMY AIR FORCES
LT. WILLIAM RUSSELL                                                 ARMY AIR FORCES
LT. VIRGIL S. SCHOEPPEL                                          ARMY AIR FORCES
PFC. RALPH D. SIMS, JR                                             ARMY
PFC. JAMES A. SKIPPER                                            ARMY
LT. THOMAS J. SMITH, JR.                                            ARMY AIR FORCES
LT. WALKER TEDFORD                                                ARMY AIR FORCES
LT. CARL TOBEY                                                          ARMY AIR FORCES
SGT. BLAKE TREECE                                                  ARMY AIR FORCES
CADET ROBERT A. TURNER                                    ARMY AIR FORCES
CAPT. GLEN F. VICK                                                  ARMY AIR FORCES
CADET JAMES U. WALKER, JR.                                   ARMY AIR FORCES
LT. ALJAH BUCK WRIGHT                                             NAVY

The names on this list have been listed as dead in at least two publications.  The Echo Supplement of February 1946 provided the most information about the disposition of these veterans.  Those whose names appeared in only one publication (exclusive of the Echo Supplement) were checked against the records of the Arkansas State Veterans Affairs.  The preponderance of evidence shows that the names on this list are 45 men and one woman who died during training, or in action, or in some other way that was related to World War II and/or its aftermath.



Past UCA Presidents

John James (JJ) Doyne

J.J. Doyne, as he was popularly known, was UCA’s first president.  He was also UCA’s first employee.  Even though the Arkansas State Legislature created UCA in 1907, it was not until 1908 that UCA actually became an operating institution.  Doyne was officially hired on July 1, 1908, and was given a two-year contract at $2,500 per year.  Doyne remained president of what was then Arkansas State Normal School (ASNS), until 1917.  Doyne’s departure from the School was fraught with controversy.  He resigned on March 27, 1917 amid significant political conflict that eventually involved Arkansas Governor Charles Brough.  After Doyne resigned, Dr. J.R. Jewell was elected president, but he refused the position due to the tense political atmosphere that pervaded the institution.  Dr. Jewell attributed the poor working atmosphere to the anti-Doyne faction.  One interesting exchange took place between Col. George W. Bruce, one of Conway’s founding fathers, and Governor Charles Brough.  According to witnesses Bruce had gone to see Governor Brough about the abrupt resignation of Doyne, and Governor Brough stated that a change in administration needed to take place due to friction at ASNS.  Bruce replied by shaking his fist in the Governor’s face and saying: “If the school can make this kind of progress with friction among the faculty, then I say let her frick!”


Burr Walter Torreyson

Burr Walter Torreyson, better known as B. W. Torreyson, became UCA’s second president at an awkward time in the institution’s history.  The School’s first President John James Doyne’s troubles were still on everyone’s minds making replacing him difficult.  Dr. J. R. Jewell had been elected president and had refused to serve allowing Mr. Torreyson to assume the position.

Torreyson was strongly supported by the board, but not by the governor.  However, the governor refused to intervene on behalf of his favorite candidate, J. G. Cubage, an ASN professor.  Torreyson was hired and became known as a strict disciplinarian with a good sense of humor. In September 1929, due to poor health, Torreyson requested  that Heber L. McAlister be made acting president while he attempted to recuperate in Orlando, Florida.  Torreyson submitted his resignation in May 1930, with an effective date of July 1, 1930.


Heber L. McAlister

Heber McAlister was an officer in the National Guard, and was at the rank of Colonel when he became UCA’s third president.  His military career began in 1906, and he served on the staff of General “Black Jack” Pershing during World War I.  Col. McAlister was very popular and well-known president, and was heavily involved in community affairs. He was very devoted to his country and the military, and gave presentation of area schools on patriotism, what it means to be an American, and U.S. flag etiquette. McAlister became UCA’s third president on July 1, 1930 and would remain president until it became obvious the U.S. would soon be involved in a major war.  McAlister was granted a 12-month leave when he was called up for active duty with the 153rd Regiment. Since his military commitment would exceed 12 months he resigned the presidency on July 26, 1941.  He rose to the rank of Brigadier General and was sent with his regiment to Alaska.


Nolen M. Irby

Dr. Irby was recommended to become ASTC’s fourth president by General Heber L. McAlister.  Irby also had a military background and had served in the United States Army from June 1914 to January 1919.  He had risen to the rank of captain and was a training officer throughout World War I. Irby completed his Ph.D. at Peabody and was very concerned about education in rural areas.  In 1940 Irby was professor of psychology at the University of Georgia when President F. D. Roosevelt appointed him to the advisory council on education. When Col. McAlister resigned in 1941, he recommended that the board hire Irby to replace him.  Irby was inaugurated as president on November 14, 1941.  He was greatly concerned about the quality of education in Arkansas and emphasized the training of teachers for rural schools. Dr. Irby remained president until he submitted his resignation on march 31, 1953 with an effective date of July 1, 1953.


Silas D. Snow

Silas Snow has the distinction of being UCA’s longest serving president.  He became president on October 29, 1953 and served until June 30, 1975.  It has been said of Snow that he personally hired every faculty and staff member from the day he was hired until he retired.  UCA went through two name changes while Snow was president.  When he became president UCA was known as Arkansas State Teachers College or ASTC.  This institution operated under the ASTC banner longer than any other of its four names.  Snow said the name implied that the institution was primarily a “teacher” institution to the exclusion of other fields of study.  Snow lobbied to have ASTC’s name Changed to State College of Arkansas, in order to portray the school as broader in scope than just a teachers college. The name change was effective on January 18, 1967 when ASTC officially became State College of Arkansas.  Snow also saw to it the the school would change names once more before he left his position.

He campaigned hard for the name change and after careful scrutiny by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education the change in name was recommended.  On January 21, 1975 State College of Arkansas became the University of Central Arkansas.  Snow served UCA until June 30, 1975.


Jefferson Davis Farris Jr.

Snow’s successor, Jeff Farris Jr., already had strong ties to UCA through his father Jeff Farris Sr., who taught physical education at UCA from 1943 to 1961. The younger Farris began his duties as president of UCA on July 1, 1975.  However, his inauguration as president did not take place until March 24, 1976.  During his tenure as president UCA’s student population increased from 4,759 to 6,425.  Farris stated he was most proud of instituting a selective admissions policy for freshmen, creating the state’s first Honors College, establishing the state’s first computerized library, the creation of the UCA Press and establishing the Presidential Scholar award.  According to the October 2, 1986 edition of THE ECHO, UCA’s student newspaper, his main ambition was to leave UCA a stronger institution.  Farris came to UCA in 1961 as chairman of the health and physical education department.  He also served as the first dean of the College of Fine Arts and Sciences.  Farris resigned the presidency after 11 years on December 1, 1986.


Winfred L. Thompson

After the resignation of President Farris, Bill Pate became interim president and served from December 1, 1986 until December 31, 1987.  Pate’s successor as interim president was H.B. Hardy who assumed the duties of interim president on January 1, 1988 and served until March 31, 1988.  Winfred Thompson officially began his duties as UCA’s seventh president on April 1, 1988.  Thompson has the distinction of being UCA’s second long-serving president, second only to Silas Snow.  Thompson came to UCA from the University of Arkansas where he was a vice-president.  His presence on campus became known rather quickly as he began transforming the campus with the addition of several new buildings.  In fact, during Thompson’s administration there was $125 million in new construction and renovation of existing facilities.  Also to Thompson’s credit UCA received two doctoral programs, one in school psychology and one in physical therapy.  He also was proud to have increased student enrollment while simultaneously increasing UCA’s ACT scores. Thompson left UCA on December 21, 2001.


Lu Hardin

After President Thompson resigned the presidency he was replaced on an interim basis on December 21, 2001 by Dr. John smith, vice-president of financial services.  Smith served in this capacity until September 22, 2002.  Hardin took the reins at UCA on September 23, 2002.  He has a bachelor of arts with high honors from Arkansas Tech University and a juris doctorate from the University of Arkansas Law School.  Hardin served as an Arkansas State Senator for 14 years and was chairman of the Senate Education Committee and also served on the Joint Budget Committee and Legislative Council.  He chaired the Arkansas Advisory Council for Vocational Education and served 12 years as a Professor of Legal Studies at Arkansas Tech University.  In addition, he was a trial attorney for 10 years.  Prior to becoming UCA’s eighth president, Hardin was Director of the Department of Higher Education for six years.  Lu Hardin resigned on September 16, 2008.


Allen Meadors

Dr. Allen C. Meadors was the ninth president of the University of Central Arkansas (UCA).  He was the third alumnus of UCA to serve as president; the first being Silas D. Snow who served from 1953 to 1975, and the second was Dr. Jefferson D. Farris, 1975 to 1986.  Dr. Meadors received a bachelor of business administration from UCA in 1969.  He obtained a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Northern Colorado and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas.  He also holds two master’s degrees from Webster University, one in psychology and human relations and one in health services management.  Meadors received a Ph.D. in administration and education from Southern Illinois University in 1981.  Before returning to his alma mater as president Dr. Meadors was chief executive officer at Penn State University Altoona from 1994 to 1999, and was Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke from 1999 to 2009.  He began serving as the president of UCA on July 1, 2009.   He resigned on September 2, 2011, and was replaced by Tom Courtway, who was later named the tenth president of UCA.


Tom Courtway

Tom Courtway became UCA’s 10th president in December of 2011. His career at UCA began in 2002 as General Counsel after careers in law and government. Courtway then served as interim president after both resignations of Lu Hardin and Allen Meadors. Courtway’s legacy as president of UCA is that he placed the university on sound financial footing and established a sense of stability on campus. UCA also experienced growth during Courtway’s time as president, adding three new major buildings: the Greek Village, sorority housing for young women students; Donaghey Hall, a mixed-use facility; and Conway Corporation Center for Sciences. The HPER Center was also significantly expanded during Courtway’s presidency. Mr. Courtway received a B.A. in economics and business from Hendrix College in 1974, a J.D. with honors from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1978, and a Master of Laws in Taxation (M.L.T.) from Georgetown University in 1983.

Houston Davis

Dr. Houston Davis

Davis is UCA’s 11th President. He served as interim president of Kennesaw State University in Georgia from June 2016 until his appointment at UCA. President Davis holds an extensive background in the field of higher education. President Davis received his B.A. in political science from the University of Memphis, M.Ed. in Educational Administration from Tennessee State University, and Ph.D. in Education and Human Development from Vanderbilt University.