Celebrating 153 Years of Excellence at the University of Arkansas

March 27, 2024

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

 As we commemorate the 153rd anniversary of the founding of the University of Arkansas, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to each member of our campus community. Your talent, dedication and hard work are the driving forces behind our success, and I am very optimistic about what the future holds.

 It was great to see so many of you at today's birthday celebration on the Union Mall. There is certainly much to celebrate this year, including:

  • Record overall enrollment
  • Record number of Arkansans enrolled
  • Record number of Arkansans in the freshman class
  • Record $98.6 million in scholarships and grants awarded
  • Record $184 million in research expenditures
  • Record fall-to-spring freshman retention rate of 95%
  • Last year, we awarded a record number of degrees, capping a two-decade run that saw overall enrollment double and our six-year graduation rate increase from 48.1% to 69.2%

These achievements reflect our commitment to student success and demonstrate the impact we are having throughout our state and nation. We are fulfilling our land-grant mission to an extent that would have seemed unlikely two decades ago — and in ways that would have been outright unthinkable 153 years ago — thanks to all of you.

150 Forward Strategic Plan Finalized

Looking ahead, I am confident that we will have even greater cause for celebration in coming years. We recently put the final touches on the university’s 150 Forward Strategic Plan, which will help guide us as we build on our tremendous momentum. I am grateful to all of you who helped with the university-level strategic plan, as well as those who have helped create college, school, department and unit-level strategic plans. Your efforts to advance student success, foster research excellence and solidify our status as an employer of choice are already making a difference across campus, and I look forward to seeing those results amplified in the months ahead as we continue to add scholarship funding and expand existing student success programs, finish construction on several cutting-edge research facilities and complete our classification and compensation project.

Thank you for being an integral part of our university's journey. Here's to 153 years of excellence and many more to come!


Charles F. Robinson, PhD