Sesquicentennial Preview: Initial List of Events Unveiled for 2021-2022

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Planning for the University of Arkansas sesquicentennial continues with less than three months before the university’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of its founding begins in January 2021.

Due to COVID-19, the sesquicentennial schedule has been adjusted to allow for more in-person activities to be held later in 2021 as well as into the spring of 2022, when the university will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its first day of classes. 

“We’re hopeful that we can be together for more in-person activities later next year and most of the 150th events are scheduled for the fall of 2021 and the spring of 2022,” said Mark Rushing, co-chair of the Sesquicentennial Planning Team. “Teams of volunteers have been working since the summer of 2019 to develop events and refine ideas submitted by campus including virtual ways to take part in the sesquicentennial.”

More than 20 university events and activities are already being planned to help commemorate the university’s sesquicentennial year. Here’s a sampling of what to expect: 

Spring/Summer 2021 

  • Sesquicentennial website launches. 
    • Site will include feature stories and videos, historic photos, new searchable Senior Walk tools and more.
  • 150th logo and light-post banners unveiled across campus. 
  • Virtual celebration of the university’s founding – March 27, 2021. 
  • Sesquicentennial merchandise becomes available.
  • Spring commencement ceremonies. 
  • Informal history book of the university’s first 150 years published by the UA Press.

Fall 2021

  • Come As You Arkansas campus and community celebration officially kicks off fall sesquicentennial season – Sept. 10, 2021.
  • Innovative, engaging series of HogTalks (TedTalk-like presentations focused on the impacts of students, faculty and alumni) launches online 
  • Portraits of Progress Celebration – Oct. 22, 2021.
    • A special celebration of Silas Hunt and others who made a difference in helping the U of A become more diverse and inclusive.
  • Sesquicentennial Homecoming Activities.
  • Arkansas corn maze designs that celebrate the 150th while reinforcing the university’s agricultural roots. 
  • Expanded, sesquicentennial edition of Arkansas magazine highlighting the university’s impact over the years and the transformative events underway that will help shape the university’s next 150 years.
  • Fall commencement ceremonies.

Spring 2022

  • Celebration of the First Day of Classes. 
  • Open House for Student Success Center. 
  • Premiere of the If This Walk Could Talk documentary, connecting the university’s past to its present through stories from Senior Walk
  • Legislative Day at the State Capitol. 
  • Founder’s Day Event recognizing academic and faculty achievements through the university’s history.
  • History Walks featuring architecture, historical events and markers and other similar themes. 
  • Expanded Chancellor’s Bus Tour across the state.

Other university sesquicentennial activities are also being planned or considered in addition to the many annual campus activities, events and forums that will have a sesquicentennial feel in 2021-22. Colleges, schools, units and other groups on campus are also scheduling activities and events for the 150th celebration. Information about these events will be included in the calendar of events and sesquicentennial website now being developed. 

A Sesquicentennial Planning Team and 10 specialized Working Groups continue to lead the planning effort for this important university milestone. Questions and feedback can be addressed to

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among fewer than 3 percent of colleges and universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


John F. Thomas, manager of university communications
University Relations


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