The fourth and final week of the 2010 Pride of Arkansas Tour kicked off in Fort Smith and continued to central Arkansas with stops in Little Rock and North Little Rock. We quickly discovered that alumni love to talk about their fondest memories as a student at the University of Arkansas, whether it playing sports or attending games, meeting new friends or getting to know future spouses.

Fort Smith, Arkansas
Through the eyes of Angela Mosley Monts, Associate Director of the Arkansas Alumni Association

The fourth week of the Pride of Arkansas Tour got off to an excellent start. Mike Macechko, executive director of the Arkansas Alumni Association, and Kris Macechko, director Constituent Relations for the University of Arkansas, joined the traveling Alumni staff in greeting alumni and friends at Adelaide Hall inside Varsity Sports Grill.

Also in attendance were Joe Euculano, University of Arkansas Planned Giving outreach officer;  Lawson Hembree, former president of the Arkansas Alumni Board of Directors; and H. L. Hembree, former member of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees.

It is amazing how two young women lived in Humphreys Hall on the same floor and never met. But it was the Pride of Arkansas Tour that brought them together and they shared stories of their days as Humphrey Hunnies. That’s what the women who lived in Humphreys Hall were called.

Linda Post, along with her family members, came to see the video, “The Razorback Family: Generations.” Her family, known for their winery in Altus, is featured in the video. The video has multiple generations of Posts attending the University for several decades.

Check out our Fort Smith photos on Flickr

Linda and I lived on the seventh floor of Humphreys Hall. Linda was a walk-on for the Lady Razorback Cross Country Team. She told me how she wanted to stay in shape and would run up and down the stairs at Humphreys. Eugene Post convinced her to go to the track and run. He was on an athletic scholarship. He also told her when she felt tired to keep pushing herself and run two more miles. The cross country coach saw Linda running and told her to try out for the cross country track team. The rest was history. We both worked in sales for Fortune 500 companies. It took the Pride of Arkansas Tour for our paths to cross again.

One of the Post family members in attendance was Ashley Post, who is featured on the video.  During the course of the evening we all learned that fellow attendee Sid Johnson had been Ashley’s seventh grade study skills teacher.

George ’69, ’77 and Millie McGill ’98 were also among the attendees. George said he remembers the good times and the bad times at the University. He never lived in a dorm because during that time African Americans were not allowed to live on campus. But his parents always taught them how to take bad experiences and make them out to good things. They also taught them they were at the university to get an education and a degree.

When he was questioned by one of his professors on why he was taking microbiology, he took his seat and knew what he had to do was to excel in the class. That’s exactly what he did. George has a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree from the university. McGill also has a brother and a niece who are graduates.

North Little Rock, Arkansas
Through the eyes of Catherine Baltz, Print Communications Coordinator for the Arkansas Alumni Association

We met generations of Razorbacks at the Whole Hog Café in North Little Rock and each shared memories of the University of Arkansas.

Janive Blanchard ’44, ’67 introduced herself as the senior member of the group. She shared with us that when she graduated in 1944 her class was only 128 people and the ceremony was held in the Greek Theater.  She also mentioned that her husband (Hubert Blanchard) was a member of the Class of ’43.

Joann Martin shared with us that she began her freshman year in 1956. During that year of school she met her husband, Don, just 21 days before he graduated from grad school and left. They knew right away they were meant to be together so she “hurried and graduated in three years.”  Joann also shared with us that she was a ladies basketball player at the University before there were “Ladybacks.”  She played throughout her three undergraduate years, and in fact, though she did not know it at the time, she was recruited to attend the University for basketball. Her husband, Don, joined the conversation and shared that he had been in the Razorback Marching Band and had been in the same class as Lewis Epley. Don told us all that he really enjoyed coming back for Homecoming each year.  Joann explained that when she was in school the girls lived downtown in Washington Hall, a suite-style dorm by the square, and they were bussed back and forth to campus.

Check out our North Little Rock photos on Flickr

As the conversation continued around the table, Allen Berry told us that he began at the University in 1962, graduating in ’66 with his undergrad degree and ’67 with his graduate degree.  He recalled being a student in ’64 when the football team won the national championship and shared that other than one year the team had success throughout his time as a student.  On the other hand, Allen told us, basketball and other sports were barely even noticed on the campus at that time. The basketball team played in Barnhill Arena, he explained, however it still had a dirt floor as the football team also used it for practice. Allen continued on to say that any student could just flash their ID and walk into a basketball game for free at that time. Allen expressed to us how much he loves coming back and seeing the wonderful facilities on campus for all the sports.

Allen commented that the hardest thing he ever did was go through the registration process as a freshman.  As he explained the long process at the time, which involved standing in individual lines for each class that you wanted to register for, a discussion ensued at the table with several people sharing their registration stories.

Mary Seagraves shared that her son will be attending the University of Arkansas as a freshman this fall.

Lynann Papan shared that she attended the University’s business school from 1981 to 1985. She is very involved with the Capital Chapter and encouraged others to get involved.

As lunch ended, the owner of Whole Hog, Rich Cosgrove ’81, joined us as we gathered for photos and called the Hogs.

Little Rock, Arkansas
Through the eyes of Angela Mosley Monts, Associate Director of the Arkansas Alumni Association

Alumni and friends were asked the following question during the Pride of Arkansas Tour at The Rogers House in Little Rock: What was your fondest memory while attending the University of Arkansas?

John Holloway said his wife Stacie was a pre-vet major. Her class went to the animal lab, where they were castrating bulls that day. Stacie fainted and that was the day she changed her major to accounting.

Stacie lived in Fulbright and John lived in Hotz Hall. Both experienced the RVs parked prior to the Razorback football games. “We were always excited about Razorback game day. We had the best of everything. We were excited when we saw the alumni and friends parked in their RVs and hearing the Razorback Band practicing before the game. John and I can’t wait to fulfill one of our goals which is to one day have a parking spot in Lot 44.”

Check out our Little Rock photos on Flickr

Andrea Hopkins pointed out that her husband Marcus’ fondest memory was meeting her. Marcus’ fondest memory was surveying the lawn in front of Old Main. He did this exercise for his survey class for his engineering major.

Dr. James Wear has three degrees. He received his master’s in one year and his PhD in three semesters. James stated it is because of him the process for the length of time one receives a doctorate was changed to the current process it is now. He also stated he got his bachelor’s degree on a Saturday and married his wife Judy the next day. Their son, Eric is also a graduate of the University of Arkansas and a Rhodes Scholar.

Gus Farver talked about meeting his lifetime friends at the university.

There are so many memories, Ramona Collins said. “I guess I would have to say camping out for tickets and seeing the final men’s basketball game played in Barnhill Area. We played LSU and I got to see Shaquille O’Neal. But we won 84-83!”

Kasey Carolina said she met two of her lifelong friends in her Freshmen Year Experience class. They are now sorority sisters of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Dr. Carl Johnson: said he had so many fond memories he couldn’t just pick one.

Amanda Richardson told us her grandfather was the university physician from the 30s to the 60s. The past health infirmary had Amanda’s grandfather’s name prior to the Pat Walker Health Center.

William “Bill” Martin said his fondest memory was being editor of the year book while he was a second year law student. Most folks told him this was impossible to do but he made it work. His next memory was being tackled by an All American from Rice University named Dickey Magel. Magel hit one of our football players out of bounds and he also hit Bill, who was taking photos. Bill said he went down but he made sure he held his camera away from the ground so it would not be damaged. There is also a picture of this hit on the column in Razorback Stadium. It is the only picture from the 1954 game.

Bill has several pictures in circulation at the university. One of his pictures is in our video, “The Razorback Family: Generations.” The picture is shot outside of the men’s gym (next to the Silas Hunt building) and it shows students standing in line waiting to register for classes.

Robert Zeiler recalled going to the Razorback football games on the rare occasions he had a chance to go. Robert was working on his MBA. He thought he was coming to Fayetteville to have a great time but soon found out there was a great amount of time spent working on projects in the MBA program. Robert was in the first class of the new MBA program which lasted for three semesters.

Come Share Your Stories With Us!

Do you have a story or campus memory you’d like to share with us and fellow alumni? Make plans to join us at one of our next Pride of Arkansas Tour Stops near you today or share your own story in the comments below if you live in one of the areas we have visited.