As the Texas leg of the Pride of Arkansas Tour wound down in Houston on Feb. 4, the northern Arkansas part of the journey continued in Newport and Batesville. A bit of wintry weather didn’t stop multiple generations of alumni from sharing their tradition of attending the University of Arkansas.

Scholarships were a common conversation piece as the Independence County Chapter is close to endowing a scholarship, something the Houston Chapter has been fortunate enough to have done for several years.

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

Local alumni joined us for an afternoon luncheon at the quaint location of “The Depot” near the railroad station in Newport, Arkansas. Clay Curtner, Roy and Louise Runyan, and John Conner Jr.  and John Conner Sr. were not inhibited by the sleet and blustering weather and came to enjoy the afternoon. We ate a wonderful meal, prepared by Marci Curtner, Clay’s sister-in-law. Clay is currently serving his second term on the Arkansas Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Check out our Newport photos on Flickr

After seeing the “The Razorback Family: Generations,” we all shared where our names are on Senior Walk. The Conners have four generations of Razorbacks, beginning in 1915. Both father and son share their pride in the University of Arkansas, and the fourth generation has recently graduated. For the Runyans, University of Arkansas degrees are a husband and wife similarity, and they have other family members who are University of Arkansas alumni as well. For Clay Curtner, the tradition of attending the University began with him and now runs in his family; both son Robert and daughter Marion are graduates. Marion will soon have her master’s degree, too!

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

We hosted alumni at The Course at Eagle Mountain in Batesville. The Independence County Chapter is known for having a high percentage of alumni memberships, and the manager of Eagle Mountain renewed his joint membership at our event.

Check out our Batesville photos on Flickr

The chapter board members were all in attendance and showed warm hospitality to all who came, which included several new faces to the community. Chapter President, Gayle Ross announced a point of pride for the group: the chapter is very close to reaching endowment status for their local scholarship through the Alumni Association. Wannette Baker, former board member, greeted every guest as they entered. Everyone felt very welcome (like a part of the family) and had a wonderful time.

Dallas, Texas
Through the eyes of Anthony McAdoo, Senior Director of the Arkansas Alumni Association

The Dallas Chapter has produced its annual Gala since 2004, which was before the Pride of Arkansas Tour.  The event is not promoted as a tour event, but it still has the same purpose as each stop on the tour: to connect alumni with each other and the University of Arkansas. Nearly 80 alumni, friends and parents of University students joined this year’s gala. Mike Macechko, executive director, was the featured speaker, and he spoke about the University’s accomplishments in which everyone should take pride. Examples included national rankings of our programs, accomplishments of alumni and student achievements.

Check out our Dallas photos on Flickr

Alumni in attendance ranged from those graduating in the 50s to the most recent graduates.  Lynda & Eric Hoffman are the parents of a prospective business major and were in attendance to immerse themselves in the Razorback Family. They were joined Lisa & Tom Miller who are the parents of a current freshman in business. Lisa runs Career Connections in Dallas, which is an organization that helps individuals find new career opportunities through a variety of strategies. Leslie Deacon, a local alumna who is a realtor led a group of volunteers to produce a quality event.  Alumni were encouraged to get involved with the local chapter and the University and before they left, 10 individuals signed up to become the newest volunteers for the University and Association’s outreach in Dallas!

Houston, Texas
Through the eyes of Carolyn Baltz, Assistant Director of the Arkansas Alumni Association

The Amazon Grill served as the perfect location for our Houston friends. We were joined by long-time volunteer and friend of the Association, Richard Edwards. Richard has been instrumental in coordinating scholarship efforts for the Houston Chapter, as well as John Stone, Daniel Clark and others. For years now the Houston Chapter has served as great ambassadors to the University of Arkansas by endowing a scholarship, attending countless college recruitment fairs and sending Houston students to the University equipped with a REAL Razorbacks membership. Sean Gentry, president of the Houston Chapter, helped us welcome the many new faces that attended.

Check out our Houston photos on Flickr

Aarash Tamijani, a 2009 graduate, arrived with his brother, his mother and father who are both alumni, and his sister Ginger who is looking to transfer to Fayetteville in the near future. Ferrell and Norma Moore told us about their love for the Razorbacks and shared some nostalgic stories about their time in Little Rock. Ferrell was fortunate to attend the University as a journalism major when Walter J. Lemke was still teaching. Don Eldred, who recently transferred back to Houston for the second time, was happy to attend a Houston alumni event after regularly attending the events in Chicago before he moved. It’s true, where there are Razorbacks our alumni will always feel at home. That’s exactly how we felt in Houston.

The entire week has been filled with warm memories, kind volunteers willing to do whatever they can to further promote our great institution and at the core of it all, Razorbacks sharing pride in the University of Arkansas across the state of Texas.

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.