Book Signing for “A Century Forward” Sunday

A book signing has been scheduled to celebrate the release of “A Century Forward: The Centennial History of Arkansas Tech University” by Dr. Thomas A. DeBlack, professor of history.

The event will take place from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, May 7, at Belle Helene Bess, an historic Greek revival mansion located at 214 E. Fifth St. in Russellville and owned by ATU alumnus Todd Sweeden.

Refreshments will be served and copies of “A Century Forward” will be available for purchase. Those who have already purchased the book are invited to bring their copy for signing.

“A Century Forward” is available for purchase weekdays at the Barnes and Noble College Bookstore at ATU, which is located in the W.O. Young Building at 209 West O Street in Russellville; and the ATU Alumni House, which is located at 1313 North Arkansas Ave. in Russellville. Cost is $45 per book plus tax.

The new book tells the story of Arkansas Tech University, beginning with the events that led to its creation as the Second District Agricultural School in 1909 and continuing through its evolution to become Arkansas Polytechnic College in 1925 and Arkansas Tech University in 1976. The ending point of the book coincides with the conclusion of the presidency of Dr. Robert C. Brown in 2014.

A member of the Arkansas Tech faculty since 1995, DeBlack is a past president of the Arkansas Historical Association and the Arkansas Association of College History Teachers.

DeBlack is also an award-winning author. In 2003, he received the first Butler-Remmel Arkansas History Literary Prize for his book “With Fire and Sword: Arkansas 1861-74.” He co-authored the college-level textbook “Arkansas: A Narrative History,” which was recognized by the Arkansas Library Association with its Arkansiana Prize in 2003.

DeBlack’s areas of teaching and research emphasis are Arkansas history, the Old South, the New South, the Civil War and Reconstruction.