ASU System President Charles L. Welch said the Larry N. Williams Student/Community Center permanently pays tribute to Williams’ significant contributions to the growth of the Newport campus. Williams, the first chancellor of ASU-Newport, is retiring effective Aug. 31 after 12 years of service and has been designated chancellor emeritus.
“He has provided extraordinary vision for ASU-Newport, and the Student/Community Center is an excellent example of his leadership,” Welch said. “We’re proud to pay tribute to his legacy.”
The resolution adopted by the board says Williams “contributed responsible leadership to provide integrity of programs and services, affordable lifelong learning, and enhanced quality of life in the diverse communities served by ASU-Newport.”
During Williams’ tenure, enrollment has climbed from 500 students in 2001 to a record 2,160 this spring. The two-year college has campus locations in Newport, Jonesboro, and Marked Tree.
Major capital projects during the past 12 years have included the $3 million Transportation Technology Center and $3.2 million Student/Community Center in Newport; the $1.5 million Collision Repair Technology Center and a $2.6 million renovation in Marked Tree; and a $1.4 million expansion, a $2 million Nursing and Allied Health Center, and the $2.5 million Hospitality Services Education Building, made possible by a $1 million gift from the Wallace Fowler family, all in Jonesboro. The Newport campus has also acquired 54 acres of property to accommodate expansions.
ASU-Newport received 10-year accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of North Central Accreditation in 2006, and the college assumed responsibility for the ASU Technical Centers at Marked Tree and Jonesboro in 2007.
The state’s only High Voltage Lineman Technology program was created on the Newport campus in 2004 in partnership with Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. The program expanded in 2009 and again in 2010.
The ASU System serves more than 22,000 students throughout Arkansas and includes Arkansas State University, a four-year research institution in Jonesboro; ASU-Beebe, with additional campuses in Heber Springs and Searcy; ASU-Newport, with additional campuses in Jonesboro and Marked Tree; ASU-Mountain Home; and instructional sites in Paragould and at the Little Rock Air Force Base.