Harding Magazine

From the President

Home in Searcy

President, David B. BurksBy David B. Burks

Location, location, location.

It is the number one rule in real estate.

And Harding’s location in Searcy, Ark., is a key to our continued growth and success.

We’re proud to be celebrating 75 years in our hometown of Searcy. The University and city enjoy a town-gown connection that is more than just a relationship; it is a friendship.

In 1934, Searcy welcomed then 10-year-old Harding College when it moved from Morrilton, Ark., to occupy the former campus of Galloway Women’s College. Economic difficulties had forced the prestigious women’s college to merge with Hendrix College in nearby Conway, Ark.

For Harding, it meant needed facilities would now be available. The 29-acre campus with 11 buildings alleviated the lack of classroom and dormitory space and gave room for future expansion.

For Searcy, it allowed the return to life as a college town.

Both complemented each other then, which continues today.

The University’s progress from 1934 to today’s main campus with 46 buildings on 350 acres has been a major contributing factor to Searcy’s growth to a city of more than 20,000.

And Searcy’s growth has allowed the city to provide services the University needs.

“Harding has been great for Searcy,” lifelong resident Barbara Wilson says, quick to praise faculty and staff for their involvement. “They move out in the community and help in so many ways. We’ve had lots of civic club and Chamber of Commerce members from Harding.”

She and her husband, Jim, are also big fans of the educational and entertainment opportunities available to the public. “Jim and I come to a lot of ASI programs,” she says. “And the Homecoming plays — they’re top notch.”

Perhaps our beloved Dr. Jimmy Carr said it best when he coined the phrase still used by the Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce, “A city where thousands live like millions wish they could.” Carr, who died April 1, was an ambassador not only for our University but also for the city he loved and served.

Our diamond anniversary with the city of Searcy is a team effort. That’s reason for both town and gown to celebrate.

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