On Feb. 5, the first week of the 2010 Pride of Arkansas Tour concluded with a lunch in Searcy and an evening reception in Conway. The Alumni staff hosts are coming home having made lots of new Razorback friends and special memories.

Searcy, Arkansas
Through the eyes of Debbie Clark, Assistant Director of the Arkansas Alumni Association

Two of the guests who joined us for lunch today in Searcy were engineering graduates and worked for Entergy Arkansas, the company that provides power to the Mid-south region. Michael Willems and Lee Peden got their in degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Arkansas.

Michael Willems has his name on Senior Walk twice with two engineering degrees.  He has two sons, and both are University of Arkansas Alumni Scholars receiving Bodenhamer Fellowship and Chancellor Scholarship.

Lee Peden also has a son, who at 10 years old is being groomed to attend the University of Arkansas.  Lee joked that he would like to retire when his son goes to college so he can follow him back to Northwest Arkansas.

Check out our Searcy photos on Flickr

The Parkers also joined us for lunch. Dr. Patrick Parker’s name is on Senior Walk three times.  He holds Bachelor of Arts, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. His wife Avalyn earned her degree in 1959 with a major in arts and sciences.

Conway, Arkansas
Through the eyes of Elizabeth Underwood, Associate Director of the Arkansas Alumni Association

Jamie Fotioo, president of the Faulkner County Alumni Chapter, was in attendance at this reception tour stop, held at the Centennial Valley Golf and Athletic Club in Conway. Though a young alumni (class of 2004), Jamie has established herself as a valued leader of the Alumni Association. She served as president of Student Alumni Board her senior year in college.

Amy and Ray Blaylock shared two stories with us that evoked some Razorback pride. This University of Arkansas couple met while in college, and Ray proposed to Amy in her Gibson Hall room. They were married right before their graduation, which places their names on Senior Walk side by side. Today when their son walks from the PIKE house to his class, he steps over their names each morning.

Check out our Conway photos on Flickr

Philip Gullic saw his name on Senior Walk for the first time when his classmates returned to campus with a bottle of champagne to toast seeing their names etched in stone.

Our event was made even more special thanks to Patsy Desaulniers who crafted miniature chocolate Razorbacks that were enjoyed by all in attendance. Because of those we met, this experience was truly a pleasure for the Alumni staff. We have driven 1,013 miles, and cherish the memories of each leg in the journey.

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.