Engineering Hall renamed John A. White Jr. Engineering Hall

 The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees honored two former chancellors and the mother of a former university president, by naming buildings in their honor. The name changes were requested by Chancellor G. David Gearhart and supported by system President Donald R. Bobbitt. The trustees’ unanimous decision came during the Buildings and Grounds Committee meeting Thursday afternoon, March 30.

Historic Engineering Hall, built in 1927, has been renamed the John A. White Jr. Engineering Hall, in honor of the former chancellor.

One of the residence halls in the Northwest Quad complex known as “Building A” has been renamed the Willard B. Gatewood Jr. Hall at Northwest Quad.

The Northwest Quad Dining Hall has been renamed the Roberta Fulbright Dining Hall at the Northwest Quad.

“At the University of Arkansas, we have a long tradition of recognizing the tenure and service of distinguished campus leaders by naming certain campus facilities in their honor,” said Gearhart. “The board’s action today, augmented by President Bobbitt’s enthusiastic support, authorizes us to acknowledge, in a most enduring manner, the leadership and contributions of Mrs. Fulbright and chancellors Gatewood and White. Their special role in our university’s history will be ever-present for generations.”

John A. White Jr. served as University of Arkansas chancellor from 1997 until 2008, leading the campus during a period of unprecedented growth and academic achievement, supported and enhanced by the Campaign for the Twenty-First Century, which raised more than a billion dollars. White, an Arkansas native and University of Arkansas alumnus, continues to teach at his alma mater as an emeritus Distinguished Professor of industrial engineering.

Willard B. Gatewood Jr. served as chancellor in 1984 and 1985, and during his tenure began the restoration of Old Main and established the Sturgis Fellowships, aimed at attracting top students from around the nation to the University of Arkansas. For generations of students he was a legendary history professor, and he was equally a legend among colleagues as a scholar and writer.

Roberta Waugh Fulbright was a dominant figure in Fayetteville and in Arkansas during her lifetime. She was successful in a variety of businesses, and as publisher of the Northwest Arkansas Times she championed the University of Arkansas, fought political corruption, advocated for social equality for women and promoted civic causes. She was the mother of J. William Fulbright, who served as University of Arkansas president from 1939-1941 and as U.S. senator from Arkansas for three decades.

Two buildings on the Fayetteville campus, a residence hall and a dining hall, had previously been named for Mrs. Fulbright, but both were demolished to make way for the Maple Hill Residence Halls.

Release date: 3/30/2012