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Ozark Campus Dedicates Walking Trail

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A celebration was held Wednesday at Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus as faculty, staff and students gathered to dedicate the campus' new walking trail and blow off some steam during Spring Fest.  The SGL Group Walking Trail, a half-mile exercise path, is located on the perimeter of the campus and the result of Arkansas Tech-Ozark's first capital campaign. It is named for the "Path to Progress" campaign's lead donor, SGL Group: The Carbon Company.

Arkansas Tech President Dr. Robert C. Brown was on hand for the dedication, as well as members of the campaign planing committee, Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees and donors.

Brown described the walking trail as a "wonderful example" of the private and public sectors cooperating. "And who wins? Who benefits? Well, in this case everyone is a winner."

Arkansas Tech-Ozark Chancellor Dr. Jo Alice Blondin gave special thanks to the late Sebastian County Judge W.R. "Bud" Harper, without whom she said the project could not have materialized.

"Of course, nobody can look at this project without thinking of all the good work the late Judge Harper did for Tech, and we all mourn and miss him greatly," she said.

Blondin presented SGL's Paula Kaelin with a commemorative plaque, as well as AMR Architects, Baldor Electric Company, Bank of the Ozarks, OG&E and Green Bay Packaging's Arkansas Kraft Division for their significant contributions to the campaign.

Also, State Rep. Leslee Milam Post presented SGL's Paula Kaelin an official state citation.

There is an adjacent disc golf area near the trail that is also available for public use. The Arkansas Tech-Ozark class of 2011 donated funds to construct a nine-hole disc golf course on the north side of the campus. Frisbees are available to the public in the library.

Tech officials said the trail and disc-golf area are designed to promote health and wellness for students, as well as the Ozark community.

After the dedication, the campus held its annual springtime festival, Spring Fest, which saw about 500 students, faculty, staff and family members enjoy games, rides, food and prizes under sunny skies to benefit student organizations.

Earlier this month, more than 30 awards were brought back to Arkansas Tech-Ozark by students who competed in state competitions.

Students competed in an array of categories during three statewide competitions: Arkansas Licensed Practical Nursing Association (ALPNA) Spring Skills Competition and Conference held April 5-6 in Batesville, Skills USA Arkansas State Championships Conference held April 9-11 in Hot Springs and Arkansas Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) Spring Leadership Conference held April 12-13 in Little Rock.