ASU Opens New Heber Springs Campus

HEBER SPRINGS- At the foot of the Sugarloaf Mountain lies the newest member of the ASU family.

Arkansas State University at Heber Springs marks nearly 10 years of hard work to make the dream of higher education come true.

"This was literally an idea that was born of just a dream. It was just something we wanted to do, that we thought would be good for the area," said former State Representative Becky Lynn.

Since ASU Heber Springs started its program 5 years ago, it has now graduated 245 students and has served more than 2,700.

"We are changing their lives, and it's all because of what you all have done to make this happen," said Vice Chancellor, Dr. Dianne Tiner.

She's talking about the residents of Cleburne County who went the extra mile to raise their own taxes so the State would chip in with the funding.

"I think that Cleburne County, right now, should embrace themselves and give ya'll a round of applause because it was you that made this thing happen," said former Speaker of the House, Bill Stovall.

And ASU leaders are proud to call Heber Springs part of the family.

"It's great for our university to have a presence in your place, and it is a very special moment for the life of our university," said President of the ASU System, Dr. Les Wyatt.

Even Governor Beebe, an ASU graduate and a firm believer in higher education was at Friday's dedication to recognize the efforts of the community.

"This is the last 2-year college campus that has been formed. It was formed at a time, back in the late 90's, when they said there would be no more colleges and universities. So that was a very difficult uphill battle," said Beebe.

But the battle ends today, with classrooms full of technology, teachers full of knowledge, and students full of hope.

"Another campus that provides affordable and accessible higher-education to a community that really is growing and really needs it is a special time," said Beebe.

Just after 1:00 Friday afternoon the red ribbon was cut.

The new campus opened academically this fall with an enrollment of nearly 700 students.

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