Clinton Visits Region 8


June 25, 2003 - Posted at: 7:35 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, Ark. -- Former president Bill Clinton returned to Jonesboro for the first time since 1995, touring the Fowler Performing Arts Center on the campus of Arkansas State University.

Clinton landed at Jonesboro Municipal Airport shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday. He then drove to the ASU campus for a tour of the Fowler Center with ASU President Dr. Les Wyatt and local business leader Wallace Fowler.

"Les Wyatt and some other friends up here invited me for a look around to see some of the things being done," Clinton said. "I hadn't been here in awhile. I just wanted to look around.

"I wanted to make sure my arena was still standing over there," Clinton said of the ASU Convocation Center, a building that he promised voters in 1982.

Wyatt, speaking at a Kiwanis meeting in Jonesboro earlier Wednesday, said that part of the tour will involve discussion about a possible Clinton role with ASU.

"We would like to have him consider that he would might be a keynote speaker for a new public event series," Wyatt said. "That we'd like to dedicate sometime in the next year.

"We'd like for him to consider that the Bradbury Gallery, which is part of the Fowler Center, might be a place where he would like to see some artifacts of materials from the Presidential Library in Little Rock to be brought to ASU on loan," Wyatt added.

Following the visit, Clinton will eat dinner with the Fowler family at the Fowler home at the Ridge Pointe County Club. Fowler was a former member of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, appointed to the board by then-Gov. Clinton.

Fowler has also been a longtime contributor to Clinton's political campaigns.

"We're just going to talk about what is going on here (at ASU), what I'm trying to do with the library" Clinton said.

When asked whether he would ask Fowler for a donation, Clinton said "that is up to him. I just haven't seen him in along time."