Governor Beebe's archives to come to Arkansas State

Governor Beebe's archives to come to Arkansas State

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe will leave a historical mark on a historical home on the Arkansas State University campus.

Governor Beebe announced Saturday he will donate his eight years of gubernatorial papers, photographs and more to Arkansas State.

Archivists, historians, students and the public will be able to visit the V.C. Kays House to learn from these documents. 

The university will recreate Beebe's State Capitol office using his furniture and memorabilia. The room will be used for small dining and reception events.

The Kays House will also feature exhibits of other prominent Northeast Arkansas historical figures, such as U.S. Senator Hattie Caraway.

Governor Beebe said he would not want his time in office remembered anywhere else.

"I'm the only ASU graduate I think that's ever been governor and if it wasn't for this place, I never would have been governor," Beebe said. "If it wasn't for this institution, I would have never had the opportunities in life that life has afforded me. So I thought it was appropriate that all of that stuff come here."

The mission of the The Mike Beebe Institute for Economic Development and Education is to develop a local workforce that values the role of education in economic development.

"You can't develop economically without a trained or skilled workforce," Beebe said. "We want to develop those opportunities right here in our own state so people stay here. If you get that right, other issues you face as a people are easier to solve: health care, criminal justice, you name it."

The university will host an annual summit to bring education, business and government leaders to the Institute. 

According to the press release, the institute's tentative budget is $650,000. The university will solicit private grants and funds to pay for the archives, renovations, website and exhibits.

Arkansas State also hopes to raise enough funds to endow the Mike Beebe Chair of Political Science and create a Mike Beebe Delta scholars program.

The university will hire a full-time archivist this fall to start transferring Beebe's collection. 

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