The Second District Agricultural School was created by Act 100 of 1909 of the Arkansas General Assembly It was decided on February 10, 1910, to found the school in Russellville. On October 26, 1910, the first classes were held in Russellville. The original purpose of the school was to offer classes leading to a high school degree. Later on, the school took on the first two years of college instruction, and the school's name was changed to Arkansas Polytechnic College by the General Assembly in 1925 to reflect this change in purpose. At this time, the course work leading to a high school diploma was phased out and in 1931, Tech formally only offered courses leading to a college degree.
The school took on its current name of Arkansas Tech University on July 9, 1976.
In the fall of 2003, Arkansas Tech University announced it intended to overtake the state vocational school, Arkansas Valley Technical Institute, in Ozark, the seat of Franklin County. As of July 1, 2004, the Ozark campus has acted as a satellite campus of Arkansas Tech and has begun offering coursework leading toward an Associate of Applied Science degree in various subjects.
From 1997-2014, enrollment at Arkansas Tech has increased by 183 percent. The Fall of 2014 marks the 16th consecutive year that Arkansas Tech has established a new institutional record for largest enrollment at 12,003 students, also officially making ATU the 3rd largest institution of higher learning in the state of Arkansas.
Arkansas Tech has invested $180 million in upgrades to its infrastructure since 1995 and the university has added more than 40 new academic programs of study under the leadership of Robert C. Brown, who has served as president of Arkansas Tech since 1993. In April, 2014, Dr. Robin E. Bowen was unanimously selected by the university trustees selected to succeed Dr. Brown; when she takes office on 1 July 2014, she will become the first woman to lead a four-year, public Arkansas university.
International and Multicultural Student Services Office
The Office of International and Multicultural Student Services is dedicated to providing student support services which enhance the college experience for international and multicultural students. Programs and activities are designed to encourage the intellectual and social development of students by providing opportunities for cross-cultural interaction. The achievement of academic excellence and the development of sensitivity, understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity throughout the campus community provide the foundation for all support services.
Facilities on National Register of Historic Places
Fight on, Arkansas Tech,
Fight on to victory!
Break through to run up the score,
Conference Champions once more!
Fight! Fight! Fight!
We'll back you all the way,
Cheering for triumph always!
Go! Fight! Green and Gold,
Wonder Boys, You're Number One!!!
Arkansas Tech University has dual nicknames: men's athletic teams are called the Wonder Boys, while the women's teams are called the Golden Suns.
On November 15, 1919 John Tucker, a 17-year-old freshman from Russellville, scores two touchdowns and kicks two extra points to lead the Second District Agricultural School Aggies to a 14-0 upset win over Jonesboro. In newspaper accounts following the game, Tucker and his teammates were referred to as "Wonder Boys," and the nickname remains to this day. Tucker was labeled as "The Original Wonder Boy" and was associated with the school for the rest of his life. He went on to play on the University of Alabama's Rose Bowl team in 1931 and served Arkansas Tech in a variety of roles - including coach, athletic director and chemistry professor - between 1925 and 1972. Two buildings on the Tech campus - Tucker Coliseum and Tucker Hall - are named in his honor.
Tired of being referred to as the Wonder Girls or Wonderettes, the female athletes of Arkansas Tech held a contest in the spring of 1975 to determine what their new mascot would be. Several names were nominated, but in the end, the athletes selected Golden Suns as their new nickname.