Bumpers College Mission Embodies Dale Bumpers Legacy, Dean Says
Values Dale Bumpers represented as governor of Arkansas and a United States senator are embodied in the mission of the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas, said Bumpers College Dean Michael Vayda Thursday during an observance of the fifteen anniversary of the naming of the college.
During a luncheon in the Janelle Y. Hembree Alumni House, Vada presented to Bumpers a replica of a historical marker titled, "The Bumpers Legacy," that will be erected at the entrance to the Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences Building on campus.
Vayda said the daylong observance was to help inform a new generation of students about the Bumpers legacy. He said the legacy embodies the college's mission of education, research and service to maintain the state's international prominence in food and agricultural industries, stewardship of natural resources and enhancing quality of life for children, families and communities.
Bumpers' name was officially added to that of the college by a resolution of the U of A Board of Trustees in July 1995. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Daniel Glickman and other dignitaries attended a dedication ceremony on April 15, 1996.
Other luncheon speakers Thursday were Sen. David Pryor, University of Arkansas Chancellor David Gearhart and U of A System Vice President for Agriculture Mark Cochran.
Bumpers said the naming of the college for him "was easily the greatest honor I have ever received other than being elected governor and senator by the people of Arkansas."
Students visited with the namesake of their college during morning sessions that focused on their majors, service programs, internships and international study experiences.
"Never back down from a challenge if it is something you believe in," Bumpers said to each group of students, citing his successful first campaign for governor, which he began with only one percent name recognition in the state.
In the afternoon Bumpers met with Mullins Library staff and students working on the collection of his papers that he donated to the library's special collections department, and visited with faculty, staff and students at a public reception in the library.
Bumpers, 85, a Democrat who served as governor from 1971-1975 and U.S. senator from 1975-1999, was accompanied by his wife, Betty Bumpers.
Pryor said in his remarks at the luncheon, "Dale's compass and source of strength was his wife, Betty Bumpers." Pryor and Bumpers cited her legacy as leader of a childhood immunization initiative as the state's first lady and organizer of the Peace Links organization that mobilized women worldwide to promote peaceful conflict resolution.
The new United States Institute of Peace building near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., includes a room dedicated to "the Peace Links women," Mrs. Bumpers said.
Cochran said Bumpers' legacy extends to every Arkansas community through his role as governor and senator. He listed many facilities and programs made possible by some $95 million in federal funding Bumpers supported in Congress ranging from rural housing, water and health care to USDA research laboratories, the Division of Agriculture's Center of Excellence for Poultry Science based on the Fayetteville campus and the Cooperative Extension Service state office building in Little Rock.
Gearhart said, "Sen. Bumpers' spirit resides at the heart of the Bumpers College mission." He added that his legacy extends to the entire university and includes his advocacy for research and education as engines for economic growth and enhanced opportunity.