Vest Family Honored During Unveiling Ceremony


Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, chancellor of Arkansas Tech University – Ozark welcomed a crowd of over 300 guests during the unveiling ceremony for the Alvin F. Vest Student Union held on Monday, August 30 in the Student Services’ Conference Center.

During the ceremony the Alvin F. Vest family was honored and memorialized for his contributions, Vest was the first director of what was then Arkansas Valley Vocational Technical School. The renovation project, which was shared with the community, retains the name of the first director, and builds on the student-centered legacy Vest developed beginning in 1962.

Vest, in collaboration with the Ozark Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the County Development Education Committee, began the preliminary work to site a new vocational school in Ozark. Mr. Vest worked tirelessly with the community and business leaders to make the location of this school a reality, and continued his involvement through his twenty years of distinguished service to the institution that would become Arkansas Tech University – Ozark Campus.  Dr. Blondin observed, “Though we have seen some changes since Mr. Vest’s time, we have built upon the technical education blueprint he provided the people of Ozark. His collaborative spirit and genuine concern for the economic impact of our region is still evident”.

Dr. Robert C. Brown, president of Arkansas Tech University said, “This is a real step forward for the Ozark campus because it will allow us to provide a larger venue. This facility will address our student needs”.  Brown added that the campus enrollment is over 1300 students, “a significant increase over where it was at the beginning of the merger.”

Pictured, Mr. Ron Vest thanking the administration for recognizing the work of his father, the community for supporting technical education in the region, and thanked the crowd for attending the event.

Mr. Rick Redden, AMR Architects provided an overview of the $1.73 million project, which will house the bookstore, the library, food service with a coffee shop, and a computer lab.

Ms. Sandy Cheffer, chief fiscal officer, gave closing remarks.