Arkansas Tech University alumnus and benefactor Robert Norman announced that the Hindsman Tower committee has exceeded its goal of raising $300,000 for the project during a groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday morning.
Members of the committee held their first meeting in late June. They solicited donations from Tech alumni who were influenced by Sam Hindsman during his 22-year career at Arkansas Tech and others who admired a man who helped make the university what it is today.
"Hindsman Tower is a fitting memorial to a man who was a central figure in the formation of the modern Arkansas Tech," said Tech President Dr. Robert C. Brown during the groundbreaking ceremony on Homecoming Saturday 2010. "The tower will be a landmark, and it will be at the very center of activity on our campus."
Construction of Hindsman Tower is scheduled to be completed in summer 2011 on the lawn south of the Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center. The structure is scheduled to be dedicated at Homecoming 2011.
Hindsman, who served on the physical education faculty at Arkansas Tech from 1947-69, was head men’s basketball coach at Tech from 1947-66, coached the Tech football program from 1954-58 and served as head bowling coach for a period in the 1960s.
Hindsman is the winningest men’s basketball coach in Arkansas Tech history. He guided the Wonder Boys to 355 victories, 11 Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference titles, nine NAIA National Tournament berths and two trips to the semifinal round of the NAIA National Tournament.
He also coached Arkansas Tech to two AIC football titles (1954 and 1958) and a pair of AIC bowling championships (1963 and 1964). Hindsman passed away in 1997.
"He was more than a coach," said Norman (photographed, speaking), who played football under Hindsman. "He was a great mentor to many of us. If Coach Hindsman was here today, he'd have a big beaming, great, great smile. Both he and his wife, Mary Lou, would be very proud of this day and what's going to occur."
Members of the committee, project donors and members of the Hindsman family all participated in the groundbreaking ceremony.