New ATU building to be named for retiring president, wife


The Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees unanimously voted to name a building after retiring President Robert C. Brown and his wife, Jill Lestage Brown.

According to an ATU news release, ATU officials broke ground for the $11.6 million, 66,900-square-foot building this month at North Arkansas Avenue and West O Street on the main Russellville campus. The site formerly housed Bryan Hall, which was demolished last year.

Scheduled for completion in December 2015, the new four-story building will house admissions, financial aid, student accounts and the student identification card office, the registrar, Upward Bound and student support services, payroll, budget and human resources. Classrooms and conference rooms will be on all four floors.

In August 2013, Brown, ATU’s president for 21 years, announced plans to retire June 30. He is ATU’s second-longest serving president behind Joseph W. Hull, the 1932-67 president.

Over Brown’s tenure enrollment increased 168 percent, and ATU set its 15th consecutive record enrollment with 11,269 students enrolled for the fall 2013 semester. Upon retirement he will hold the titles of president emeritus and distinguished professor of economics.

The trustees voted at a special meeting Saturday.