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Path to Progress

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Officials at Arkansas Tech University – Ozark campus announced today the “Path to Progress” walking trail. The one-half mile walking will be built around the campus, featuring a reflecting pool to be named for Michael Morton of Central Arkansas Nursing Centers in Fort Smith, a garden to be named for AMR Architects in Little Rock, as well as a new campus entrance marker, donor sign, landscaping, benches, and lighting. 

The $100,000 trail is expected to be completed in October 2011 and will eventually be linked with city sidewalks to the south and hopefully begin the plan to connect other city trails.

Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, Chancellor announced, “One community partner believes so strongly in this project and the Ozark campus, and has made an incredibly generous donation to ensure the success of this endeavor and today, I am proud to announce that this trail will be called “SGL – The Carbon Company” Trail.” 

Blondin, added, “This trail will provide increased campus life and community wellness opportunities, fellowship, and regional pride in our progress on the Ozark campus.” 

The project developed from Ozark campus strategic planning process (ongoing since 2004). Faculty and staff identified a walking trail/campus beautification as one of our initiatives during the strategic planning process. 

Once identified, officials at the campus decided to make this project the first private fundraising campaign, though modest, its significance to the Ozark campus is tremendous and its realization impactful. 

In order to realize the fundraising goals, a committee was developed to assist in helping raise private funds for this trail. The following individuals served on the committee: Ms. Leigh Burns Whiteside of Russellville, Chair, Mr. W.R. “Bud” Harper and Dr. Jo Ann Harper of Fort Smith, Mr. Eddie Melton of Ozark, Lonnie Turner of Ozark, Mr. Don Burns, of Ozark, Mr. Michael Smith of Clarksville, and Mr. C.A. Kuykendall of Ozark. 

Pictured next to the architectural renderings is (l-r): Steve Holland, SGL Carbon, Dr. Jo Harper, Michael Smith, Administrator Mercy Hospital Turner Memorial, Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, Chancellor of Arkansas Tech - Ozark, Mr. W.R. Bud Harper, Lonnie Turner, Leigh Whiteside, ATU Board of Trustees Vice President, Jayne Jones, ATU Vice President for Development, and Eddie Melton, Bank of the Ozarks.