Arkansas Tech University: Wikis


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Arkansas Tech University
Seal of Arkansas Tech University
Established 1909
Type Public University
President Dr. Robert C. Brown
Students 7,498
Location Russellville, Arkansas, United States
Campus Rural
Colors Green and Gold
Mascot Wonder Boys (men) / Golden Suns (women)

Arkansas Tech University is a mid-sized, state-supported collegiate institution located in Russellville, Arkansas. The university offers programs at both baccalaureate and graduate levels in a range of fields. As of 2004, the University also operates a small satellite campus in the town of Ozark, Arkansas. This campus primarily focuses on lower-level (Associates and Certificate) level education.




Early History (1909-1976)

The Second District Agricultural School was created by Act 100 of 1909 of the Arkansas General Assembly It was decided on February 10, 1910 to found the school in Russellville. On October 26, 1910, the first classes were held in Russellville. The original purpose of the school was to offer classes leading to a high school degree. Later on, the school took on the first two years of college instruction, and the school's name was changed to Arkansas Polytechnic College by the General Assembly in 1925 to reflect this change in purpose. At this time, the course work leading to a high school diploma was phased out and in 1931, Tech formally only offered courses leading to a college degree.

Recent History (1976-Present)

The school took on its current name of Arkansas Tech University on July 9, 1976.

In the fall of 2003, Arkansas Tech University announced it intended to overtake the state vocational school, Arkansas Valley Technical Institute, in Ozark, the seat of Franklin County. As of July 1, 2004, the Ozark campus has acted as a satellite campus of Arkansas Tech and has begun offering coursework leading toward an Associate of Science degree in various subjects.

Alma mater

Alma Mater, Alma Mater,
May we lift our eyes to thee.
May thy glory and thy honor
Be fore'er our destiny.
May the colors Green and Gold
Our loyal hearts fore'er enthrall,
And thy mem'ry live forever,
In the hearts of us all.

Alma Mater, Alma Mater,
Cherished beacon of our youth
Radiant emblem, shining symbol
Guide that leads us onto truth.
Down life's pathway, beaming 'or us
Ever lead us by thy light
Should we falter then restore us
By thy spirit's glor'us might!

Facilities on National Register of Historic Places

Aerial view of Arkansas Tech University, 2008


Several Tech buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[1]

  • Old Art Building—Retired academic building.
  • Caraway Hall—Residence Hall, renovated in 2005.
  • Hughes Hall—currently being renovated for use as a residence hall.
  • Techionery—Academic building, mainly used as a theatre shop and performance space by the ATU Theatre Department.
  • Williamson Hall—Academic building, renovated in 2003 to include kitchen facilities.
  • Wilson Hall—Residence Hall.


Arkansas Tech participates in NCAA Division II athletics as a member of the Gulf South Conference.

Sports Offered

Arkansas Tech's two greatest moments of athletic glory were provided by the back-to-back NAIA Division I national championships captured by the Golden Suns basketball program in 1992 and 1993. The 1991-92 team finished with an overall record of 35-1. The 1991-92 Golden Suns won each of their final 28 games by 12 points or more, including an 84-68 win over Wayland Baptist University (Texas) in the national championship game. The Suns won their second consecutive national crown in 1993 by defeating Union University (Tenn.) 76-75. Joe Foley, Tech head women's basketball coach from 1987-2003, was the architect of both national championship teams.

Today, the Golden Suns basketball program ranks among the top five in NCAA Division II history in winning percentage and all-time wins. The Suns finished as NCAA Division II national runners-up in 1999, and they made it back to the NCAA Division II Tournament for the first time in three years during the 2006-07 season. Tech made it back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament when the Suns qualified for the event again in 2008.

Arkansas Tech has made four appearances in football national playoffs (1971, 1994, 1999 and 2004). The 1971 Wonder Boys made it to the national championship game of the NAIA Playoffs, losing to Livingston State (now University of West Alabama) in the title game. In 1994, Tech lost in the first round of the NAIA Playoffs after capturing the final Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference (AIC) football crown earlier that season.

Tech won AIC football championships in 1931, 1935, 1939, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1954, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1964, 1968, 1970, 1971 and 1994.

Arkansas Tech left the NAIA after the AIC disbanded following the 1994-95 academic year. Tech joined NCAA Division II and the Gulf South Conference at that time. Since then, Tech's football program has made appearances in the NCAA Division II Playoffs in 1999 and 2004. The 1999 team was the first from Arkansas to win the GSC football championship outright, while the 2004 Wonder Boys were the first team from Arkansas to host or win an NCAA Division II Playoffs game. Tech earned that honor by defeating Catawba College (N.C.) 24-20 on Nov. 13, 2004.

Steve Mullins has served as head football coach at Arkansas Tech since 1997. He has won more games than any other Wonder Boys football coach since the World War II era and ranks third on the all-time football coaching wins list at Arkansas Tech. Mullins has also served as athletic director since April 16, 2003.

Tech's greatest men's basketball success came under the guidance of head coach Sam Hindsman, who led the Wonder Boys from 1947-66. Hindsman, who also won two AIC football titles at Tech during the 1950s, was ahead of his time with an up-tempo style that dazzled fans and opponents. Hindsman and the Wonder Boys won seven consecutive AIC basketball titles from 1949-55. In 1954 and 1955, Tech reached the semifinals of the NAIA National Tournament. Tech's only other NAIA Final Four berth in men's basketball came in 1995.

In all, Hindsman won 11 conference men's basketball titles and 355 men's basketball games to set school records that are unlikely to ever be eclipsed.

Tech returned to men's basketball prominence for the first time in more than a decade during the 2008-09 season. Head coach Mark Downey and the Wonder Boys finished 23-9 overall, won their first-ever Gulf South Conference men's basketball title and qualified for the NCAA Division II Tournament in men's basketball for the first time ever. The Wonder Boys defeated Benedict College 63-62 in their first-ever NCAA Tournament game on March 14, 2009. Florida Southern ended Tech's season 95-92 in overtime the following evening.

Tech won AIC baseball titles in 1950, 1964, 1976, 1981, 1985, 1988 and 1992. The Wonder Boys captured a share of the GSC West Division baseball crown in 1998.

Arkansas Tech's men's golf team was AIC champions in 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1984, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995. Tech became the first school from Arkansas to win the GSC Championship in men's golf in 2004. The 1998 Wonder Boys reached the NCAA Division II National Tournament for men's golf. Tech made its sixth men's golf NCAA Division II Regional Tournament appearance and finished as GSC Tournament runner-up in 2009.

The Golden Suns volleyball program won AIC titles in 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1987. The Suns captured GSC West Division volleyball crowns in 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2008. The 2000 team became the first from Arkansas Tech to qualify for the NCAA Division II Volleyball Tournament.

Tech did not found its softball program until 2003, and that program did not make its first postseason appearance until 2008, but the Golden Suns have more than found their footing over the past two seasons. Arkansas Tech is the two-time defending GSC West Division softball champion, having posted an overall record of 41-17 in 2008 and 42-21 in 2009 under head coach Gidget Pambianchi. The Suns finished as GSC Tournament runners-up in both 2008 and 2009.

The Golden Suns tennis program made back-to-back GSC Tournament appearances in 2008 and 2009 and established a new school record for tennis victories in a season (17) during the 2009 campaign.


Arkansas Tech University has dual nicknames: men's athletic teams are called the Wonder Boys, while the women's teams are called the Golden Suns.

In 1919, Arkansas Tech's football team played what is now Arkansas State University, which were heavily favored to win the game. However, Tech won the game on the shoulders of John Tucker, a student at Tech at the time, who returned two punts for touchdowns and kicked two extra points. The sportswriter for the Arkansas Gazette referred to the team as "a bunch of Wonder Boys." Tech's men's athletic teams have been known as the Wonder Boys ever since, and Tucker was labeled as "The Original Wonder Boy." [2]

Tired of being referred to as the "Wonderettes," the female athletes of Arkansas Tech held a contest in the spring of 1975 to determine what their new mascot would be. Several names were nominated, but in the end, the athletes selected Golden Suns as their new nickname.[3]

External links


  • Walker, Kenneth R. 'History of Arkansas Tech University 1909-1990', Arkansas Tech University, 1993.

Coordinates: 35°17′40″N 93°08′02″W / 35.294371°N 93.133783°W / 35.294371; -93.133783


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