Laney-Manion Hall

The University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees unanimously voted to rename Laney-Manion Hall to Manion Hall during their July 23 meeting. 

Built in 1994, Laney-Manion Hall is the current home of the Department of Chemistry. The building was constructed on the site of the original Laney Hall, named after Gov. Benjamin T. Laney. The new building continued to be identified as Laney Hall until 2014, when the building was renamed Laney-Manion Hall in recognition of the distinguished service of Jerald “Jerry” M. Manion to the university.

Manion spent nearly 50 years at UCA as a professor, mentor, friend and ambassador for UCA chemistry. At the time of his death on July 18, 2014, Manion was the longest-serving professor in the history of UCA, having served at UCA for 49 years. He also served three terms as Faculty Senate president and was the 1999 UCA Public Service Award winner. In 2010, alumni honored Manion with an endowed departmental award bearing his name which is given annually to an outstanding chemistry student.

Manion obtained a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Harding University in 1962 and a Doctor of Philosophy in organic chemistry from the University of Mississippi in 1965. He started his career at Arkansas State Teachers College in 1965 as chair of the newly formed Department of Chemistry and served as chair of the department until 1992. 

“We are pleased with the board’s decision to rename this building,” said UCA President Houston Davis. “Dr. Manion made significant and meritorious contributions to the chemistry department, the university, its students, alumni and faculty and staff. Renaming the building in his memory will fully recognize and uplift his many contributions to UCA.

“Additionally, we are overdue in removing the Laney name from the facility. Because of Laney’s stance on segregation, over the past few years, the Student Government Association, Faculty Senate, Council of Deans, the chemistry department, and more than 30 organizations on campus have all adopted resolutions or submitted letters of support to request that the building be renamed Manion Hall. We appreciate their voices and feedback, and we are happy to have the opportunity and board support to move forward with this renaming