University of Central Arkansas

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The University of Central Arkansas is a state-run institution located in the city of Conway, the seat of Faulkner County, north of Little Rock and is the second largest university by enrollment in the state of Arkansas, and the third largest college system in the state. The school is most respected for its programs in Education, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy. It is also the home of the UCA Honors College as well as four Residential Colleges.

History and Mission A Brief History of UCA

Flowers looking towards the south, central part of campus.

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).


UCA has a Fall 2008 enrollment of 12,959, the largest in its history, and an increase of 2.7 percent over its enrollment one year earlier, which was 12,619.

In the September 19, 2007 edition of The Echo (campus newspaper), the fall 2007 enrollment was listed at 12,619. [1] In fall 2006, 12,330 students were enrolled at UCA. [2] UCA's enrollment has increased by over 30% in the past five years and 46% over the past four years. In fall 2002, UCA had an enrollment of approximately 8,500. [3] In fall 2005, students come from 38 states and 55 countries. Full fall 2005 enrollment statistics can be found here.


Main Hall, the oldest building on campus.

UCA Colors - The colors for UCA were decided the 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. President Doyne assigned the task of developing school colors to W.O. Wilson and Ida Waldran in 1908. Wilson was wearing a gray sweater and Waldran was wearing a purple scarf. They chose the colors based upon the color of the clothing they were wearing that day. Both Wilson and Waldran thought that purple and gray complemented each other. Today the official colors for all UCA sports teams are purple and gray.

UCA Mascot - 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.” The women's teams were known as the Bearettes for several years. The name of Sugar Bear came later. Victor E. Bear came about in 1999 and Victoria E. Bear came soon after. Bruce D. Bear became the newest addition to the UCA family in 2006

Main Hall – is the oldest building on campus. This building was completed in 1919 and was built by George Donaghey, the man for whom Donaghey Avenue is named and a former governor of the State of Arkansas. After the building was built it served a dual role as the administration building and as a classroom building. It continued to serve as the administration building until the 1960s.

World War II Marker - UCA's World War II Memorial was dedicated in October 2003. The memorial contains the names and branch of service of forty-six UCA Alumni who were killed during World War II. The memorial is a permanent reminder of those UCA Alumni who gave their lives fighting for their country.

Senior Legacy Walk Brick Campaign -The Senior Walk is located in the courtyard in front of the Student Center. Each year, graduates will have the opportunity to purchase bricks as part of their class year. For $100, graduates can purchase a brick that will be inscribed with his/her name or the name of a graduate that a purchaser want to honor.

UCA Presidents<ref name=autogenerated1 />

Torreyson Library, named after Burr Walter Torreyson.

John James Doyne 1908-1917

Burr Walter Torreyson 1917-1930

Heber L. McAlister 1930-1941

Nolen M. Irby 1941-1953

Silas D. Snow 1953-1975

Jefferson D. Farris 1975-1986

Winfred L. Thompson 1988-2001

Lu Hardin 2002-2008

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. <ref>Eighth President</ref> President Lu Hardin announced his resignation at the August 28, 2008 Board of Trustee's meeting and just before Tom Courtway, UCA Vice President and General Counsel, was named Interim President.


Snow Fine Arts Center

The University has 6 distinct colleges offering over 75 majors.[4] These colleges are: The College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Fine Arts and Communications, the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Liberal Arts, and the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

The university is famous for its innovative Honors College, which has received national recognition for its excellence. Small classes, distinguished faculty, TAG and URGE grants for students, high ACT and SAT scores, and outstanding medical and graduate school admission rates are hallmarks of the College. The Carnegie Foundation said the UCA Honors College was "One of the most widely imitated programs in the country," and former U.S. Secretary of Education Terrell Bell described the Honors College as being "An Ivy League education at a bargain basement price."[5]

In 2006, U.S. News & World Report ranked UCA 61st in the South in academic excellence. This marks the first year that UCA has been ranked. UCA was the only public Arkansas university in that category. [6]

The Colleges<ref>Educational Portal- University of Central Arkansas in Conway, AR</ref>

The University of Central Arkansas in Conway, AR, comprises six colleges. In addition to the programs offered at the colleges, it has a study abroad program. Students may, for example, study Literature in Italy and U.K., healthcare in China or Sociology in Africa. Credits earned at several foreign universities may be credited towards a degree at UCA.

File:Irby Court Yard.JPG
The courtyard outside of Irby Hall.

College of Fine Arts and Communication The College of Fine Arts and Communication offers five fields of study for a degree. Available disciplines include public relations, communications, art and writing. Many of the college's degrees enable graduates to work or teach in their chosen profession. The college offers both bachelor and graduate programs.

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics This college offers six fields of study in physical and natural sciences. Undergraduate programs include those in biology, chemistry, computer science, pre-medicine, pre-engineering and pre-veterinary science. The college offers both bachelor and master's degrees.

College of Business Administration Business students attending the University of Central Arkansas can pursue an associate, graduate, bachelor or MBA degree through this college. It offers four major fields of study, including accounting, finance, information systems and marketing.

College of Health and Behavioral Sciences This college offers bachelor and graduate degrees in health, education, counseling, military science, nursing, therapy and speech pathology. ROTC students at the University of Central Arkansas attend this college for training as a commissioned officer. Courses are also available in fitness and exercise.

College of Liberal Arts There are seven fields of study available at the College of Liberal Arts. The college offers graduate and bachelor degrees. Available fields of study include philosophy, foreign language, political science, geography and history.

College of Education The College of Education offers University of Central Arkansas students Ph.D., bachelor and master's degree programs. These programs provide the skills required to work in teaching, educational administration and curriculum development.

Residential Colleges[7]

The Student Center. Went through a major remodeling in the summer of 2008..

There are currently four residential colleges at UCA. The four RC are Hughes Hall(97), State Residential College (99), Minton (05) and Short/Denny (2006).

Residential colleges are more than just places to live. They are co-educational learning communities in which students and their professors interact closely with one another. By living in the same residence hall as a faculty member, and taking classes with other college members, residential college students form academic connections which enrich the entire educational experience.

Any student admitted to UCA is eligible to apply for admission to the Residential Colleges. The program is open to students in all majors and programs. Students generally enter a residential learning community the first semester of their freshman year.

The UCA Residential College Program is a community of learners that was implemented in 1997 to educate the whole student. To do this, the program provides each student with opportunities to develop her or his academic, professional, and societal lives.

Academically, the RC college program expects their graduates to: know themselves as discerning thinkers who are able to evaluate and interpret complex information from a variety of sources, have a strong commitment to making learning a life-long process, express themselves thoughtfully and with meaning in a variety of contexts

The courtyard outside of the Student Center.

Professionally, the RC college program expects their: work well in teams, including those of varied composition; building consensus and working with dissension; utilize learned technological skills in ways which further and enhance their careers; act creatively, ethically, and with initiative.

Socially, the RC college program expects their: demonstrate a sense of commitment to local and global concerns; contribute their time, talents, and efforts in service to the community; recognize themselves as part of a diverse and ever-changing world.

Because "the end depends upon the beginning," the UCA Residential College Program dedicates its faculty and resources to making the transitions from high school to college and college-to-career both meaningful and successful. By offering a space for conversations about things that matter, we build the communalities and connections so essential to our education and our society.

Drama and Theater Arts

The University of Central Arkansas is Arkansas's premiere dramatic school. The program promotes active student involvement in all areas of production including acting, stage management, scenery, costumes, lights, sound, props, and management. The theater program participates annually in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and has walked away with numerous awards. UCA also holds the annual Arkansas High School Audition Day which is a chance for any High School senior interested in majoring in theater to audition before most of the theater programs in the state of Arkansas. Also, UCA Theatre is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre. This accreditation assures students and parents that the UCA Theatre program meets professional standards of quality in theater education and training as set forth by the Association.

Public Appearances

UCA Public Appearances is a division of the University’s College of Fine Arts & Communication. Its primary responsibilities are to manage the Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall--a 1200-seat, state-of-the-art theater--and to develop and present performing arts programming in the hall.

The Reynolds Performance Hall opened on September 15, 2000, with a sold-out concert by the late Ray Charles. Since then, the theater has hosted numerous celebrities, including the Temptations, Ms. Gladys Knight, the Irish tenor Ronan Tynan, The Golden Dragon Acrobats, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and many national and international touring companies.

A three-person full-time staff, two part-time staff, and numerous student workers are employed by Public Appearances.

In 2004, UCA Public Appearances created UCA Ticket Central, which provides ticketing services for all ticketed events on the campus. UCA Ticket Central serves Public Appearances, Athletics (football & basketball), UCA Theatre, the Conway Symphony Orchestra, Student Activities events, and events sponsored by organizations within and outside the University.

UCA Public Appearances is supported by State funds, funds generated by the UCA Performing Arts fees, grants, ticket sales, and donations.



Central Arkansas Bears logo

The University of Central Arkansas participates in 14 NCAA Division I Varsity Sports and one College Subvision (formerly I-AA football), supported by the efforts of a diverse group of over 300 male and female student-athletes. Its men's teams are called the Bears and the women's are the Sugar Bears.

UCA presently competes in seven men's sports (American football, basketball, baseball, soccer, golf, cross country and track) and eight women's sports (basketball, softball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, golf, cross country and track).

From 1993 to 2006, UCA competed in the West Division of the Gulf South Conference. In 2005-2006, UCA's men's athletic teams won the conference's All Sports Trophy. However, on July 1, 2006, UCA moved to the Southland Conference, which is Division I-AA in football and Division I in all other sports. UCA plans to be a full Division I member by September 10, 2010.

Prior to moving to Division II, UCA competed in NAIA Division I for most sports, winning the national football championship three times (1984 {co-champs}, 1985 {co-champs} and 1991) and finishing runner-up once (1976). Between 1979 and 1992, UCA won or shared 13 out of 14 Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference championships (AIC) and went to the playoffs 12 times in that span. A number of former Bears have found success in the NFL, including Landon Trusty, Willie Davis, Tyree Davis, Dave Burnette, Curtis Burrow, Andre Collins, David Evans, and most notably Monte Coleman.

The most famous athlete in school history is unquestionably Scottie Pippen. Pippen was a 6'2" walk-on his first year at UCA, but by the time his sophomore year rolled around, he had grown to 6'7", and would be a starter for the next three seasons. Scottie was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics with the 5th pick in the 1987 NBA draft, and then traded to the Chicago Bulls for Olden Polynice. Polynice was never a major factor in the NBA, but Scottie won six world championships (1991–1993 and 1996–1998) while playing for the Bulls (1987 - 1998) alongside Michael Jordan. Not long after his retirement, Pippen was voted as one of the NBA's Top 50 Players of All-Time, and the Chicago Bulls retired his jersey number (#33). His jersey at UCA is also retired, and hangs in the rafters. Pippen also played for the Houston Rockets (1998 - 1999) and the Portland Trail Blazers (1999–2003). Pippen is retired, and lives with his family in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Fight Song

UCA Fight Song

Go-Go-Fight Bears

You will lead us on to victory

Hey, go-fight-win team

Bears will charge the field and never yield


We've got the spir-it, and we'll show our colors

Here tonight-so let's cheer

The Purple and the Gray Team

The Mighty BEARS will win the FIGHT!

Greek Life

Approximately 10% of UCA's students are members of one of the 20 Greek organizations hosted by the campus. Greek life was established on 1915. The organizations also devote thousands of man-hours and dollars to local charities each year.

List of Greek Organizations at UCA

Interfraternity Pi Kappa Alpha, Phi Sigma Kappa, Sigma Tau Gamma, Kappa Sigma, Sigma Nu, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and Phi Lambda Chi

Panhellenic Council Alpha Sigma Alpha, Delta Zeta, Alpha Sigma Tau, Sigma Kappa, Sigma Sigma Sigma

National Pan-Hellenic Council Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma, Iota Phi Theta, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta, Sigma Gamma Rho

Registered Student Organizations

The University is home to more than 200 registered student organizations, with more forming every year.

Notable other RSO's include Young Democrats, College Libertarians, College Republicans, Sigma Alpha Lambda Honors Society, Student Council for Exceptional Children, PRISM, Business and Information Technology (BIT), Computer Science Club, Model UN, Campus Dialogue, Pre-Med Society, and a myriad of religious organizations.

Also, there are minority-focused organizations such as Griot Society, Minority Mentorship, Students for the Propagation of Black Culture (SPBC), S.U.A.A.W., Black Men United (BMU)

Student Government Association

The Student Government Association, SGA, represents the student body at all times and in all circumstances, in areas such as: allocating and administrating student activity funds; advising the administration in regard to student-related policies; cooperating with faculty in determining student obligations and honors; considering all student petitions to SGA; planning and supervising all SGA elections; and approving charters or cancellations of RSOs.

The SGA was created to represent student interests on campus and push for initiatives that are beneficial for the student body. We are here to make sure that students are the number one priority in every decision made at UCA. The Slogan of SGA is: Students First!

The SGA is composed of total of forty senators divided into: "The Executive Board" consisting of a Executive President, Executive Vice-President, Vice-President of Operations, Vice-President of Finance. SGA representation from each class shall be as follows: President, Vice-President, Five (5) Representatives. Additional Members: Five (5) Senators at Large, Three (3) Graduate Senators.

The full Senate meets every Monday at 5 pm in Student Center 215 and all students are invited to attend. This is the time when all the classes and committees come together, under the direction of the Executive Board, to report on goals and projects that are being carried out by the body. Any student can be appointed to a committee.



External links

Administration & programs

Student organizations & outreach