We are really enjoying reconnecting and sharing stories with alumni and friends about the University of Arkansas as our Pride of Arkansas Tour continues. The stories shared by alumni and friends are amazing but even more so is that people are remembering us; even though we might not have seen them in person for about a year now. We are really glad to have made these lifelong connections and look forward to making even more.

We hope you enjoy these stories from alumni and friends we meet during our Pride of Arkansas Tour stops, but more importantly we encourage you to share your own story in the comments below if you live in one of the areas we have visited.

Helena-West Helena, Arkansas
Through the eyes of Tammy Tucker, Director of Communications for the Arkansas Alumni Association

It’s always good to go “home.”  For me, that place is Helena-West Helena. My co-workers who are traveling with me this week got a kick out of everyone at the event wanting to give me a big hug and sending well wishes to my parents, who retired to Northwest Arkansas after living in Helena for nearly 20 years.

But even though some of the people who had lunch with us today at the Phillips County Chamber of Commerce have known me since birth, today was my chance to learn a little more about them. I had no idea that Poindexter and Mary Louise Fiser had met in finance class at the University of Arkansas but were not romantically connect until many years later when they were reunited. Now, they have been married 26 years.

Check out our Helena-West Helena photos on Flickr

It was good to reconnect with a high school classmate, Keshia Nunn-Valley, who recently obtained a law degree from the university. We hadn’t seen each other since 1992! It was the first time I had met her husband, Andre, also a University of Arkansas law school graduate.

Bev Hargraves said he had been wondering whatever happened to his good college friend, Ricardo Martinelli, when he saw in Arkansas magazine that Martinelli had been elected president of Panama. We hear the two Arkansas graduates will soon reconnect in person when Bev travels to Panama to play some golf with Martinelli. Not everyone has the chance to say they have played golf with a president!

Forrest City, Arkansas
Through the eyes of Tammy Tucker, Director of Communications for the Arkansas Alumni Association

We can’t thank alumnus Don Edmondson and his wife, Ellen, enough for hosting the reception at the Forrest City Country Club. As soon as Don, who previously served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, heard we were coming back to his hometown during this year’s Pride of Arkansas Tour, he started thinking of alumni to personally call and invite. He and Weston Lewey made sure the event hit the local newspaper numerous times. It’s amazing to see alumni like them step in and serve as an extension of our staff through volunteering.

Check out our Forrest City photos on Flickr

We more than doubled our attendance from last year thanks to Don’s tireless efforts to help spread the word. We were glad to meet Weston, who thanked us for creating the Razorback License Plates. Her daughter, a journalism major, is the recipient of one of the “Roads” Scholarships, which are funded by the Hog Tags. Each time a license plate is sold, $25 goes toward helping an Arkansas native attend the University of Arkansas. Twelve thousand of the specialty plates are currently on the road! Weston is also giving back to her alma mater by serving on the Walton College Alumni Society Board.

Kirk Billingsley, who has given his time to speak at student recruitment events, also joined us. Sharon Wilson told us she’s bringing 20 seventh through ninth grade students to Fayetteville in April to participate in the Michelle Wilson walk-a-thon. It’s never too early to introduce prospective students to the University of Arkansas!

St. Louis, Missouri
Through the eyes of Debbie Blume, Executive Assistant for the Arkansas Alumni Association

On Wednesday, February 10, a small but dedicated group of alumni and friends joined us at Pujols 5 Westport Grill to watch “The Razorback Family: Generations” video. Gathering from all over the St. Louis area, the group enjoyed an evening of camaraderie and reminisced about their time on the University of Arkansas campus.

Check out our St. Louis photos on Flickr

Joining the evening’s festivities were Greg Sisti ’04 and Greg Pillar ’04, who were instrumental in working to establish the Missouri Hog Tag program. The Missouri Hog Tags have been in existence for approximately one year and generated over $6,000 in scholarships to assist Missouri students wishing to attend the University of Arkansas. The proceeds are split between the Missouri chapters and are used within each chapter’s community. Also among the participants were former national board member Rosemary Fairhead ’75 who was honored in 2009 with the Alumni Association’s Andrew J. Lucas Alumni Service Award, and Bob Green ’56, an Architecture graduate, who has worked in architecture for forty years since departing the university.

The evening was capped when we were able to watch a portion of the Arkansas vs. LSU men’s basketball game. Wooo Pig Sooie!

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.