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– UA Hope-Texarkana Fondly Remembers Its Founding Director and Early Community College Pioneer

Founding Director of Red River Vocational Technical College (now the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana), J.W. Rowe, an early pioneer in the beginning and growth of community colleges in the State of Arkansas, died Sunday, February 7, 2021. He was 94.

Thousands of students and graduates of UAHT and other community colleges throughout Arkansas have benefited greatly from the educational programs and services developed from the early groundwork of Mr. Rowe. His leadership and vision, humble manner, and work ethic were instrumental in building UAHT into one of Arkansas’s most successful community colleges.

Rowe began his career in education as the Training Director of Vocational Education for the El Dorado COOP and the Assistant Director of Pines Vo-Tech. He was the founding director of Red River Vo-Tech, now UAHT, where he served from 1965 until 1987. In 2015, the college administration building, the original building at Red River Vo-Tech, was named the J.W. Rowe Administration Building in his honor as part of the college’s 50th-anniversary celebration.

After leaving the college, Mr. Rowe continued to help students by funding endowed scholarships through the UAHT Foundation. The scholarships include the J.W. Rowe Family Endowment, the J.W. and Janis Brian Rowe Endowed Scholarship, the Mona Rowe Rowland Memorial Endowed Scholarship, and the J.C. “Jake” Ruppert Endowed Scholarship.

J.W. Rowe

“My heart swells with pride with the students who are here now and what the college is doing in making opportunities available to people in this area.” – J.W. Rowe

“I’d be remiss if I didn’t give credit to the original staff who made this place go.” – J.W. Rowe

“I don’t know of any place on earth where I’d rather raise my family than in Hope, Arkansas.” – J.W. Rowe

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