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Arkansas Tech to dedicate $15.1 million Brown Hall on Saturday | Arts & Culture

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Arkansas Tech to dedicate $15.1 million Brown Hall on Saturday
Arkansas Tech to dedicate $15.1 million Brown Hall on Saturday

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. --Arkansas Tech University will host a dedication ceremony for Dr. Robert Charles Brown and Jill Lestage Brown Hall on Saturday, April 16.
The ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the first-floor lobby of Brown Hall, located at 105 West O Street on the Arkansas Tech campus in Russellville. The public is invited to attend.
Named for the 11th president of Arkansas Tech and his wife, Brown Hall is a four-story, 66,900-square foot structure designed to serve academic, student support and administrative needs of the university.

The $15.1 million facility includes classrooms and conference rooms on all four floors. There are also offices for operating areas such as admissions, registrar, student accounts, financial aid, veteran services, payroll, budget, human resources and the university’s federally-funded TRIO programs — Upward Bound and Student Support Services.

Construction of Brown Hall began in spring 2014. Funding for the project was made possible through general improvement funds from the State of Arkansas, Arkansas Tech physical plant funds and the sale of revenue bonds.

The Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees voted on May 10, 2014, to name the facility in honor of the Browns.

Dr. Robert C. Brown served as president of Arkansas Tech from 1993-2014. He retired as the second-longest serving president in the history of the institution after overseeing the addition of more than 50 new academic programs of study and implementation of $260 million in campus infrastructure improvements.

Enrollment at Arkansas Tech increased by 168 percent from 1997 through the end of Brown’s tenure, and the university began what is now a streak of 17 consecutive years of record enrollments under his leadership. Tech has become one of the three largest institutions of higher learning in Arkansas with 12,054 students as of fall 2015.

Of all the degrees Arkansas Tech awarded during its first 105 years, more than 60 percent were conferred during the Brown presidency. Upon his retirement on June 30, 2014, Brown assumed the titles of president emeritus and distinguished professor of economics.

Jill Brown’s contributions as first lady are remembered through the Jill Lestage Brown Service Leadership Award, which is presented on an annual basis to a graduating senior.