Arkansas Tech University President Dr. Robin E. Bowen took time during Wednesday’s ATU Board of Trustees meeting at Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center to recognize outgoing chairman John Ed Chambers III of Danville for his service to the institution.
“Mr. Chambers has left a lasting legacy at ATU during one of the most significant periods in the history of the institution,” said Bowen. “Just think of the facilities that have been constructed during Mr. Chambers’ time on the Board of Trustees — structures such as the Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center, Doc Bryan Student Services Center, Baswell Techionery, Baswell Residence Hall, M Street Residence Hall, Rothwell Hall, Brown Hall, the Student Services and Conference Center in Ozark and the Health Sciences and Wellness Building in Ozark, just to name a few. Can you imagine Arkansas Tech University without them?
“Mr. Chambers’ expertise in the realm of finance and his leadership helped make each of these facilities possible,” continued Bowen, “and that does not begin to measure the dozens of new academic programs developed, the enrollment growth and the thousands upon thousands of graduates that Arkansas Tech University has produced during Mr. Chambers’ tenure on our Board of Trustees.”
Chambers completed his third term on the board on Jan. 14. He served as a trustee from 1994-99 and 2007-17, continuing a family tradition that dates back more than 90 years. His grandfather, Judge John Ed Chambers, was a member of the board from 1925-37, 1939-53 and 1955-63. His father, John Ed Chambers II, was an Arkansas Tech trustee from 1965-67 and 1987-88.
“It’s been a privilege and an honor to work with so many excellent board members,” said Chambers. “When I started in 1994 we had less than 5,000 students. Today, that number is almost 12,000. Hopefully that growth continues, but that’s not what is most important. It’s the quality of education Tech provides and the quality of the people I’ve worked with. Thank you for letting me serve. It has been an honor.”
Chambers was succeeded on the ATU Board of Trustees by Eric Burnett of Fort Smith, who was appointed to the board by Gov. Asa Hutchinson earlier this month and sworn in by Pope County Judge Jim Ed Gibson before Wednesday’s meeting.
It is Burnett’s second term as an Arkansas Tech trustee. He served in that capacity from 2011-16 and was chairman of the board in 2015.