Gov. Beebe donates archives to Arkansas State

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JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) — Gov. Mike Beebe announced Saturday he will donate his eight years of gubernatorial papers, video footage, photographs and memorabilia to his alma mater, Arkansas State University.

Beebe, a 1968 graduate of Arkansas State and past chairman of its Board of Trustees, said he is pleased to work with ASU to share his part of the state's history with researchers, historians and students from Arkansas and beyond.

"I've made no secret of my love for Arkansas State University and the opportunities this school created for me," Beebe said.

First elected governor in 2006, Beebe was re-elected in 2010 and is now term-limited.

The school said Beebe's archives will be the basis for what will become a comprehensive project chronicling the governor's legacy. It will include the Gov. Mike Beebe Economic Development and Education Institute and a website for access to the collection.

The university will create an annual summit to bring education, business and government leaders to the institute.

In addition, areas of the V.C. Kays House and the Dean B. Ellis Library will be available for interactive presentations focusing on Beebe's public service work.

"Gov. Beebe's contributions to our state and our university are extraordinary," Arkansas State System President Chuck Welch said. "It's only fitting that Arkansas State would be given the honor of sharing his historic story and extending his legacy of leadership through the institute."

Chancellor Tim Hudson said tentative plans for initiatives related to Beebe involve University Advancement, the Department of Heritage Studies, the Department of Political Science in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the ASU Museum, the College of Business, and the Delta Center for Economic Development.

"The governor is giving us a unique opportunity to bring together faculty and student talents from many disciplines," Hudson said. "We will preserve and communicate the history of Governor Beebe while creating interactive educational experiences."

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