March Shows Connection Between ATU, Russellville

Dr. Russell Jones and Mayor Fred Teague March to Main 2023
Dr. Russell Jones (left), Arkansas Tech University acting interim president, and Fred Teague (right), mayor of Russellville, led March to Main 2023 on Wednesday, Sept. 6.

A sea of green and gold moved steadily down North El Paso Avenue and spilled into Russellville Downtown on Wednesday night.

March to Main 2023 attracted hundreds of members of the Arkansas Tech University and Russellville communities, each of whom braved the early September heat to express their affection for ATU and the town it has called home for more than a century.

“Arkansas Tech is a family, and it’s nights like these when the weight of those words can be felt,” said Hannah Stone, ATU Student Government Association president.

Dr. Russell Jones, ATU acting interim president, told the audience the story of how Judge R.B. Wilson of Russellville brokered a deal that provided the Second District Agricultural School with free lights and water for the first three years of its existence. As a result, the school’s original Board of Trustees selected Russellville as the host site for the institution.

“We stand here 113 years later as Arkansas Tech University,” said Jones. “There have been a lot of changes. The name has changed. The campus has changed. The students have changed. But one thing that has remained strong is the tie between the City of Russellville and Arkansas Tech University. We see ourselves as one community, united and working together. We can all learn from Judge Wilson’s example. We grow together, we learn together and we solve our problems together. Let’s have the courage, energy and perseverance to make Arkansas Tech and Russellville the premier destination for living and learning.”

March to Main 2023 began outside Simmons Bank Field at Thone Stadium on Centennial Plaza. Jones and Russellville Mayor Fred Teague led the parade. Once the march reached Depot Park in downtown, there was food, activities and live music featuring East of Anthony, an Arkansas-based alternative rock band.

“Arkansas Tech is so critical to Russellville, Arkansas,” said Teague. “We are interconnected, and without each other we don’t succeed.”