JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The four new residence halls at Arkansas State University were officially named during a ceremony on campus Wednesday.
The new graduate housing will be called The Circle and the four individual dorms will be named after the first four African American faculty members at A-State.
Those honored are Dr. Wilbert Gaines, Dr. Mossie Richmond, Dr. Calvin Smith, and Dr. Herman Strickland.
"These four families actually were difference-makers, not just as Arkansas State but also within the Jonesboro community," Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Lonnie Williams said. "Because as the men were employed here at Arkansas State, the wives were employed in Jonesboro in the school system and they were among the first over in those areas as well."
Dr. Smith was the first of the four to move to Jonesboro in 1970. He retired in 2002.
Dr. Gaines taught at A-State from 1972 to 2005.
Dr. Richmond came to A-State in 1973 as dean of University College and later became vice president for Student Affairs. He also served as interim president of the university in 1994.
Dr. Strickland taught at the university from 1972 to 2008.
All four of the men once lived in the faculty houses that were torn down to build the new dorms.
"When you look at some history and the legacy, some of the things that they've gone through, we just really felt like this is really an opportunity for the university to make a statement about diversity," Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Rick Stripling said.
Stripling said the most important part of the day was being able to honor the professors and their families for leaving a lasting legacy at A-State.
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