Blanchard Honored for Decade as Trustee

Arkansas Tech University President Dr. Robin E. Bowen and the ATU Board of Trustees recognized Charles Blanchard of Russellville for a decade of service as a board member on Thursday, Jan. 17.

Blanchard was first appointed to the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees by Gov. Mike Beebe in January 2009. He served as chairman of the board in 2013 and 2018. His second term on the board expired on Jan. 14, 2019.

During Blanchard’s decade of service, enrollment at Arkansas Tech increased by 61.4 percent to the current institutional record of 12,101 students. The university conferred more than 18,500 degrees and other academic credentials while Blanchard was an ATU board member.

Arkansas Tech constructed Rothwell Hall, Hindsman Tower, Baswell Techionery, M Street Residence Hall, the Multi-Sport Complex and Dr. Robert Charles Brown and Jill Lestage Brown Hall as well as the Student Services Conference Center and the Health Sciences and Wellness Building at its Ozark campus under Blanchard’s leadership.

His tenure also saw renovation projects to enhance Browning Hall, Caraway Hall, Chambers Cafeteria, Williamson Hall, the Techionery, the ATU baseball stadium and the Alvin F. Vest Student Union in Ozark as well as additions to McEver Hall and Corley Hall.

Creation of a new strategic plan, campus master plan, mission statement and vision statement for ATU were also among the highlights of the past decade. Milestones reached included the retirement of Dr. Robert C. Brown as the 11th president of Arkansas Tech and the election and inauguration of Dr. Robin E. Bowen as the 12th president of the university.

A resident of Russellville for more than 35 years, Blanchard is chairman and chief executive officer for First State Bank. He joined the bank and brought it to Russellville in 1999. Previously, Blanchard was with First National Bank of Russellville from 1981-98.

Blanchard is a former president of the Russellville Chamber of Commerce and was the 2001 Russellville Citizen of the Year. He has served as treasurer and campaign drive chairman for the River Valley United Way.

He is a past president of the Russellville Industrial Development Corporation and the Russellville School Board. Blanchard was chairman of the Arkansas Bankers Association in 2011-12.

Blanchard’s wife, Cynthia Blanchard, was a member of the Arkansas Tech faculty from 1981-2007. They have two grown children: Mary Pat Blanchard Hardman and Chip Blanchard.