UAPB to Mark 145 Years During Founders Celebration


Pine Bluff, Ark. (April 16, 2018)  – The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff will celebrate 145 years of existence during Founders Celebration activities April 23-29. With the theme, “History, Heritage, Honor: #fueledforthefuture,” events include time honored traditions and a few new additions.

Founders Celebration is a tradition that has been going on for over 60 years, blending academics, social activities, and history in an effort to communicate not only the history of the University, but also the importance of remembering how history built the school into what it is today. The formal celebration of Founders Day can be dated back to 1943, during the administration of Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Sr. The original chairman of the celebration, Butler T. Henderson, was head of the department of business and economics. In charge of a celebration that originally lasted a full week, Henderson made sure the activities during this time were varied and culturally rich, all while showing the growth that Arkansas AM&N College achieved.

The celebration will begin Monday, April 23 with Branch Normal Day at 11:00 a.m. The free, public event will be held on Second and Oak streets, the original site of Branch Normal College (now UAPB). The event will feature special presentations from Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington and the University Museum and Cultural Center. The day will continue with Movie on the Lawn at 8:30 p.m. at the W.E. O’Bryant bell tower plaza.

Unity Fest will be held Tuesday, April 24 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at W.E. O’Bryant bell tower on UAPB’s campus. The event is an annual spring activity designed to bring together the University and community through entertainment, food, games, vendors, information booths, novelty attractions and more.

The 25th Annual Mary E. Benjamin Conference on Educational Access will mark day three of Founders Celebration on April 25. With the theme, “Reading Equips All Disciplines,” the one-day conference will be held in the STEM Conference Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration is $75 for teachers and $25 for students. More information about the conference is available at

Wednesday’s activities will conclude with Family Feud: Founders Edition from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in the L.A. Davis, Sr. Student Union Lounge.

On Thursday, April 26, the Honors and Awards Assembly and Convocation will be held at 10:00 a.m. in the Kenneth L. Johnson, Sr. HPER Complex and will feature UAPB alumnus Dr. Gralon Johnson, University Innovation Alliance (UIA) Fellow at Iowa State University. The day will end with a Healthcare Professionals Panel at 6:00 p.m. in the STEM Conference Center.

The UAPB/AM&N National Alumni Association will sponsor an Alumni/Senior Mixer for May and December 2018 graduates on Friday, April 27 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in the Sylvester Early auditorium of Henderson-Young Hall. The event provides an opportunity for graduating seniors to network and meet alumni and chapter leaders.

Saturday, April 28 is full of activities that include the intrasquad Black and Gold Game at 1:00 p.m. at Golden Lion Stadium and Baseball game at 2:00 p.m. at the Torii Hunter baseball complex. The day will conclude with the Chancellor’s Benefit at 6:00 p.m. at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. Tickets are $150/person and can be purchased at or by calling the Office of Development at (870) 575-8702.

The 145th Founders Celebration comes to its end Sunday, April 29 with Sunrise Service at 6:30 a.m. in Cross-Phipps auditorium of Caldwell Hall. The keynote presentation will be delivered by UAPB alumnus Rev. Lorenzo R. Jones, IV, associate minister of Greater Friendship MBC in Colleyville, TX and Sales Professional for GlaxoSmithKline. The annual Alumni Breakfast will be held immediately after Sunrise Service in the STEM Conference Center.

For more information about Founders Celebration activities, visit or contact Dr. Tracy Dunbar at (870) 575-7142/ or Donna Mooney at (870) 575-8375/ .



Cutline for photo: Joseph Carter Corbin, founder and first principal of Branch Normal College (now UAPB). Photo courtesy of the University Museum and Cultural Center.


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