The University of Arkansas Brand History

The state legislature approved establishment of a land-grant university, to be known as the Arkansas Industrial University, on March 27, 1871. The federal Morrill Land Grant Act granted lands to Arkansas that could be sold, the revenues from which could then be used to pay for creation of the university.

The Board of Trustees set about determining a location, asking for cities and counties in the state to put forward bids for the university. The board purchased 160 acres from William McIlroy and classes began on January 22, 1872, with seven boys and one girl in attendance. By the fall, more than 100 students had enrolled.

Like chapters of a book, the University of Arkansas has had many chapters in its history – from international agricultural missions to the presidency of J. William Fulbright to the employment of faculty members who later served as president and secretary of state of the United States.

The greatest contributors to our university’s history, however, have been our students, who have changed the university in significant ways.

Students initiated the change of the university’s name from Arkansas Industrial University to the University of Arkansas in 1899. Students chose the school colors in 1895. Students picked the Razorback as their mascot in 1910.

A student – Silas Hunt – was the driving force in integrating our university in 1948 peacefully and without litigation – a first for a major southern public university. His actions led others to seek enrollment at the segregated white colleges across the South and inspired the students who followed him.

Students are like the constantly roiling waters of an Ozark stream, slowly but surely changing the landscape, and they are the driving force behind our university.