Established as an agricultural school and opened in 1911 with seventy-five students, the institution was elevated to Agricultural and Mechanical College status in 1925, renamed Southern State College in 1951, and finally became a university in 1976. The principal administration building, Overstreet Hall (1941, Wittenberg and Delony), is the focus of the campus. It rises three stories and has a full-height portico of six Doric columns. The period immediately after World War II saw the institution’s greatest period of growth, and Wittenberg, Delony and Davidson (the successor firm to the architects responsible for Overstreet Hall) designed several buildings in a Colonial Revival mode. The campus also boasts a Greek Theater constructed between 1936 and 1938 by students of the college and young people enrolled in the National Youth Administration program of the WPA. The elliptical-shaped amphitheater, which has concrete benches and Greek columns on the stage, opened with a performance of Sophocles’s Antigone.
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Southern Arkansas University (Third District Agricultural School)
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