Arkansas School for the Blind
Alumni Association

Introduction   History and Purpose  Officers and Board Members   Communications From the Alumni Board

Roll of Distinction  ASB Alumni Constitution  Distinguished Alumni    

Compositions by Professor Emile Trebing  

Compositions by Miss Rose Fussell

School Songs     Songs From the Past      

Arkansas State Association for the Blind Constitution


Asb has been  a home for many generations of students.  During the first 100 years of the school's existence, the vast majority of the students resided at the school for 9 months of each year that they attended.  For this reason, alumni manifest a deep sense of loyalty to the school and a genuine concern for the well-fare of current students.  Over the years many former students have striven to repay in some measure the debt which they acknowledge for the excellent education that facilitated independence and productivity.  The ASB Alumni Association is committed to the continued growth and improvement of the school and readily accepts the challenge to emulate the examples of countless outstanding persons who have contributed to the development of ASB in to a school which is second to none in providing quality education and experiences for its students.  

This page is dedicated to providing current information on the activities of the ASB Alumni Association to alumni and other interested persons, to preserving the rich history of ASB and the Alumni Association and to keeping alive the cherished memories for those who value their experiences as students at the Arkansas School for the Blind.

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History and Purpose

During the first 60 years of the school for the blind's existence, there was scant support for students after graduation.  Students who completed their curriculum of studies encountered tremendous obstacles in their attempts to secure employment upon graduation.  Professor emile Trebing and other far-sighted individuals recognized the need for a support group to lend assistance to ASB graduates.  The Arkansas State Association for the Blind was organized in June 1919 to fulfill this need, and Miss Amanda Moore was elected President. The purposes of this organization were to promote in every feasible way, the educational, vocational, social, and general welfare of the blind and to create a loan fund to assist the worthy and capable blind in their various pursuits. With the increase in federal and state governmental support which occurred in the 6 decades following the establishment of the association, the purpose of the group shifted to providing support for the Arkansas school for the Blind and its students.  In 1979, The organization became the "Arkansas School for the Blind Alumni Association" and is the oldest organization of the blind in Arkansas. The association functions today as an ASB support group and meets annually in early June.

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Officers and Board Members

President Jackie Thompson. Jacksonville, Arkansas, (501) 9828652
Vice President: Shelly Hillman. Jacksonville, Arkansas, (501) 9822398,

Recording Secretary, Dawn Fagan, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Corresponding Secretary, Gail Thrasher, Little Rock Arkansas.
Treasurer, Melinda Bennett , Little Rock Arkansas.

Board Members, 

John Paul Tyrone, McGehee, Arkansas. (870) 222-6022,

Suzanne Michell, Little Rock, Arkansas. (501) 6641613,
Gorden Hillman, Jacksonville, Arkansas. (501) 9822398,

Tammy Scharf, North Little Rock, Arkansas.
Tracy Bennett, Little Rock, Arkansas.  
Sammy Baldwin, Little Rock, Arkansas.
(501) 5680834.
James Walker, Immediate Past President, Little Rock, Arkansas.   

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Communications From Alumni Board

2004 Alumni convention

Please come and join us this weekend, May 28-30, for the 2004
annual Alumni convention. You are cordially invited to attend the
end-of-year activities on Friday consisting of the awards
assembly, lunch, and Commencement. Alumni registration will
follow beginning at 3:00 p.m. with the opening meeting at 7:00
p.m. We have quite a weekend in store including the auction on
Friday night, the general meeting including election of officers
Saturday morning, activities in the gymnasium including the pool
Saturday afternoon, an opportunity to view CCTV technology, and
the traditional banquet and dance Saturday night. We'd love to
see you there!

ASB Alumni Board Minutes
January 24, 2004

Meeting came to order at approximately 10:30 a.m.  In the Multipurpose room.  Minutes were approved as read.  Treasurer’s report was approved as read.
Old Business:
Discussion was made on publicity of the tree sale and scheduling workers during the week.  The need for a money identifier was addressed and Mr. Hill assured that one could be provided for the tree sale.  
Mr. Hill then discussed the decision of the ESVI. (Outreach) program to be relocated and the impact of recent proposals addressed by Ms. Marsha Harding.  
New Business:
						Margaret Johnson suggested that interested parents of visually impaired children, both at ASB and in public schools, across the state be given contact 
			information for an ASB alumnus in their area for support and 										guideance. Mr. Hill asked that a committee be formed to outline the process for public relations and extending services across the state.
Sam and Tracy volunteered to provide announcements to magazines such as the Braille Monitor, Braille Forum, and others as to the date of the upcoming 2004 Alumni convention. 
The need for discussion on the upcoming White Cane concert was addressed, but the board was reluctant to make any decisions as to this matter in the absence of Ms. Suzanne Michell who is coordinating the event.  It was decided that Jackie would contact her regarding concert  plans.
The April meeting was scheduled for Saturday, April 3rd in the multipurpose room at 10:00.  
Meeting was adjourned at 11:40 p.m. 



Arkansas School For The Blind
Alumni Association
2600 West Markham
Little Rock, AR 72205
 October 10, 2003

Dear Members and Friends,

The ASB. Alumni Association is anticipating   a very successful  year.  The Alumni Board has been busy planning fund raisers for this year and we are open to any suggestions you may have. We have a number of new ideas that we feel will raise more money to benefit the school as well as provide public awareness and support for ASB.  As you may already know, this is a time of transition for the state=s educational system and the changes made by the State Department directly impact our school.  So please, help support ASB this year and use these fund raisers as a great public relations opportunity.

Along with our annual Christmas tree sale this year, we will also be raffling off Christmas ham.  Please give yourself and your friends a chance at a delicious ham for Christmas dinner.  As always, we would sincerely appreciate your help selling the trees.  The tree sale traditionally starts the week after Thanksgiving and will run until the students go home for Christmas.  

 Another goal we have for the Spring is to hold a concert in the auditorium to benefit the Alumni Association. Participants of last year=s White Cane concert included Roy Nash, Searcy Ewell, Suzanne Michelle, and others.  Last year the money raised was to benefit LWSB., but it has been suggested that the benefit could alternate each year between LWSB. And ASB.  This will be our year and we=d love to be able to have a successful concert this Spring.   More details will be given closer to the event.

 We are very excited about   putting together recipe books to be sold at the   Convention and are eagerly awaiting your submissions of those favorite easy-to-make casseroles, desserts, or any other old family traditions you=d be willing to share. And of course, the books will be made available in both print and braille.  Feel free to send recipes in either format as well. Please send recipes to:

Jackie Thompson
1035 Cole Drive
Jacksonville, AR 72076

 Please keep the following calendar in mind so that you can attend these  annual events at ASB. This year:

 Nov. 20th: Chili Supper

Dec. 18th: Christmas program

Jan. 24th: Homecoming and Alumni Board Meeting

April 22nd:  Spring Concert 

May 28th: Graduation and Alumni Convention

 We look forward to your ideas and any help you are willing to give.  Thanks in advance for your continued interest in the school and our organization.


 Jackie Thompson, Alumni President

A listing of ASB graduates since the founding of the Arkansas School for the Blind in 1859:

Criteria for Inclusion on the Roll of Distinction The Roll of Distinction includes the names of those persons who have
completed a prescribed course of study for which a diploma or certificate was presented to them in commencement exercises at the Arkansas School for the Blind.

1863:  Thomas B. Parks

1868: Emily Easterwood.  John T. McClellan.  Commodore Riffe.  Clendora Scott.  Sarah E. Shockley.  Robert G. Ward.  Martha J. Williams.

1872:  Rebecca Mitchell.  Charles B. Pruitt.  Agnes Sinclair.  Henry S. Smith.  Reese Turner. 

1874:  Levator Lamb.  Mary J. Lane.  Nancy J. Mathews.  Naoma Amanda Moore.  Fannie C. Rhodes.  James Wheeler.   

1876:  James Austin.  Ann Augusta Cole.  Michael Dodd.  John Grey.  J. P. Jones.  Alford P. Poindexter. 

1877:  Louisa Brooks. 

1878:  Lulu Bell.  William Bennerman.  Sophronia Bright.  John C. Cantley.  James Cloud.  Mary Cypert.  Taylor Dansbury.  Lavisa C. Elliot.  Nancy Ellis.  Anthony Franklin.  Andrew J. Hudspeth.  Josephine Manley.  Lorenia Miller.  Molly Moody.  Wise Virginia. 

1880:  Martha Arnold.  Cynthia A. Austin.  Robert Bennerman.  Charles F. Bohley.  Louisa Burnett.  Mary J. Cobb.  Albert M. Crouch.  Kate A. Ellis.  M. L. Guesne.  William F. Manning.  Wyatt McElhany.  Sarah E. Perciful.  W. D. Price.  L. M. Prowse.  Francina Riffe.  William H. Rogers.  Missouri Thornton.  John F. Tylar. 

1882:  Lucinda E. Bennett.  Nancy J. Brooks.  J. S. Bunyard.  John C. Cantley.  William E. Carter.  Delila E. Clapp.  Harry Conkel.  W. H. Connor.  Josephine F. Cooper.  John H. Davis.  Rebecca F. Dickey.  John H. Hornberger.  Francis M. Locks.  Lafayette Mason.  Leander Mason.  Berline Perciful.  Talitha C. Taylor.  Lewis White.  

1884:  John A. Allen.  Benjamin Bettis.  Katie Church.  R. M. Dougherty.  David P. England.  Benjamin G. Johnson.  Joshua Keller.  William A. Korn.  Edna M. Rowland.  Edward C. Treat. 

1886:   Sarah E. Dunlap.  Jennie McClure.   

1887:  Joseph Anderson.  Edward L. Farr.  J. R. Higgs.  John H. Lutterel.  Osborne A. Kinney.  Lura Rolland. 

1894:  Mamie E. Graham.  Grace Garland Harvey.  James W. McBride.  Jessie M. Parks.   

1897:  Edgar Callanen.  Clara Crenshaw.  Lee Harvey.  James B. Reed.  Isaac M. Routh.  Annie Williams. 

1898:  Marcus Ferguson. 

1899:  John C. Annesly.  Harriett Ellen Bradley.  James Carruthers.  Charles Evans Harmon.  James B. Hicks.  James Johnson.  Rachel Alice Ming. 

1900:  Jesse J. Brough.  Virgil A. Ivey.  Henry F. Ming.  Robert L. Winn. 

1901:  Verne Bowers.  R. L. Carson.  Willis Webb. 

1902:  Joseph BeardOscar Miller.  Lucien Rich. 

1903:  T. Oscar Adams.  Otto Donaghe.  George Stacy.  Charles Tipton.  Clara Webb. 

1904:  W. Thomas Lane.  Eugene Pyle.  Baxter Stezler.  Tolbert Wright. 

1905:  Robert H. Croy.  Alice Fuller.  Marie Kellner.  Will Wilson. 

1906:  Estelle Jernigan.  Belle Reynolds.  Jacob Springer.  Octavia Stotts. 

1907:  Marian Eva Blake.  Oscar McElmurry.  James Poynter.  Joseph Ragsdale.  Woodie M. Sherar. 

1908:  Frank Costello.  Harvey Draper.  Hannah Heath.  Ernest Langston.  Stonewall McKuin.  Anthony Papili.  Thursman Walker

1909:  Estes Bryant.  Thurston Glasco.  Martin Rice.  Otto Webster.  

1910:  Ida Mae Collins.  Annie DeMeree.  Ethella Gardala Moore.  William Walter Drewery. 

1911:  Frank Draper.  Adam G. Hayden.  Homer Hudlow.  John C. McCracken.  John Smith.  Mary Inez White. 

1912:  Merrell Mitchell.  James Moore. 

1914:  John Patrick Clark.  Grace Elizabeth Davenport.  Mrs. Amy Hanson.  Lillian Rebecca Harrell.  William Monroe Harry.  Harry M. Liles.  Harvey Hezekiah Liles. 

1915:  Ruth Catherine Christensen.  Allie Marie Hannum.  Lela Avel Head.  Patrick Frederick Hogan.   

1917:  Ben Lessenberry. 

1918:  Orland Butler.  Mary Lynn Rollins. 

1919:  Frank C. McCracken.  William Bryan Duncan.  Roy Dale Townsend. 

1920:  Alma Archer.  Rose Mary Fussell.  Claudia Smith.  Lucy Jane Smith.  James O. Striplin.  Walter Young. 

1921:  Pearl Lawson. 

1922:  Jane Ford.  Fannie Lee McCorkle.  Foncy Ellen Watt.  Guy Presley Young. 

1923:  Afton L. Blake.  Horace A. Booker.  Earl W. Hobock.  Gordon W. Slemons. 

1924:  Clarence Melson. 

1925:  William Garner Chapman.  Orville McDaniel.  James Scott Whitlock. 

1926:  Ervin G. Howard.   

1927:  Lucius Dale Elam.  Atha Mae Elliott.  Lonnie Lee Johnson.  Teddy Lucile Wilson. 

1928:  Bessie Brooks.  Wadie C. Kuykendall.  Robert James Massengale. 

1929:  Virginia Chiles.  Durward Norman Hicks.  Hester Irene Holder.  Odessa Knight.  Roy Franklin Kumpe.  Vera Lois Nowlin. 

1930:  Erma Elizabeth Brooks.  Joy Otis Gardner.  Opal Orlean Mattison.  Vergie McDougal.  Raymond Thomas Sykes.  John Tunstall Walton.   

1931:  Herman Foushee.  Edward Hansen.  Maulsa King.  Ruth Lilly.  Augusta Linebarger.  Eleanor Sligh.  Myrtle Sligh. 

1932:  Ida Bell Allison.  Ryman Holman.  Louise Johnston.  Robert Kemp.  Anna Sligh.  Bruce Snodgrass.  John Waters.  Gladys Watson. 

1933:  Jane Borsch.  Hazel Clark.  Walter Crowley.  Ed Douglas.  Bernice Grantham.  Phillip Jacoway.  Daisy Pauline Kulbeth.  Bonnie Nickell.  Ray Penix.  Edna Mae Sligh. 

1934:  James Conway Alsup.  James Aubrey Baker.  Helen Catherine Delzell.  Hubert Clarence Munn.  David Olen Richardson.  William Neal Rogers.  Gerald Franklin Salter.  Ruby Velma Tallant.  Mary Lucille Twitty.  Marie Dell Vaught. 

1935:  Angelo Carraro.  Alva Howard.  Deltha Little.  Otis McArty.  Harry Russell.   

1936:  Glynn Ashley.  Charles Bass.  Earley Busby.  Grady Samuel Cunningham.  Milton Dockery.  Florence Adeline Foushee.  Azzel Greene.  Boyd Carolton Hancock.  Florence Esther Hayes.  Ulysses Howard.  Edith Pauline Ivy.  Howard Lee McKee.  Joyce Melby McMurrian.  Martha Ruth Smith.  Alpha Bealis Tucker.   

1937:  Tannie Burnette.  Ray Crawford.  Earl Farrar.  Chester H. Holden.  Frank McArty.  Sybil Westbrook. 

1938:  Leonard Easter.  Carlos Gattis.  Zaniel T. Spikes.  Phillip Eugene Taylor. 

1939:  Thomas Clutter.  Wayne Crawford.  Alice Evans.  Fannie Bell McNeil.  Mary Christine Temple.  John Loren Troutt.  M. Helen Vargo.  Robert Wolfe. 

1940:  Alfred Croy.  Doice Delene Hayden.  Barbara Magness.  Theodore Joseph Raible.  Mary Evelyn Thornton.   

1941:  Juanita Gulledge.  Rachel Earline Lockeby.  Belva Martin.  Jeanne Stewart.  Susanne Thompson.  Carl Williams. J. C. Williams.   

1942:  Paul Chance.  Nadine Fitzhugh.  Alline Frazier.  Aubrey Watts. 

1943:  John Edward Chiles.  Maudie Bell Crossland.  Sammy D. Lendermon.  Jeanne Mitchell.  Charlie Platt.  Marshall Stroud.   

1944:  Henry Eshelman.  Eiland J. Hall.  Thomas Phifer.  George Roller.  Gordon Junior Thomas.  Charles Whitson.   

1945:  Therald Moore.  J. P. Wilson.   

1946:  Doris Burton.  Lavern Scharbor.  Margaret Vines.   

1947:  Roy Broom.  Johnnie Hill.  James Wadlington.   

1948:  Maurice Boozier.  Johne George Ginaris.  Clitis Jack Kitts.  Clyde Russell.  Kenneth Wilson.   

1949:  Willene Gober.  Dorothy Kimbrell.  Allie Langley.  Marie Morrison.   

1950:  June Brooks.  Mary Ann Lambert.  David Laney.  James Pickett.   

1951:  Truman Barnes.  Jean Keck.  Vernelle Stewart. 

1952:  Other Brown.  Kenneth Bruton.  George McNabb.  Ved Mehta.  Anna Belle Morris.  Norman Penix.  Carol Lynn Rowe. 

1953:  Joyce Boyle.  Max Cary.  Jane Clement.  Bill Tabor.  Lois Woodward.   

1954:  Betty Jo Adkins.  Bennie Conner.  Eugene Curry.  Retha Jean Fisher.  Doyle Horton.  Joe Lauderdale.  James Felton Spakes.  Peggy Ann Stevens.   

1955:  Earnest Barnett.  Molly Scott.  Leonard Ray Todd.  Pat West. 

1956:  Therril Knowlton.  Marion Miller.  Leonard Ogburn.  Raymond Rogers.  Joyce Tullos.   

1957:  Sue Harrison.  Melvin Morrison. Marilyn Tullos. 

1958:  Johnny Bill Cole.  Kenneth Grider.  Don Hern.  Benny Musgrove.  David Phillips.  Sue Reeser.  Albert Shank. Martha Sligh.   

1959:  Johnny Mae Ballard.  Alton Lloyd Hambrick.  Velma Laverne McClure.  Leslie Guy McDaniel.  Beal B. Pickett.  Kenneth Eugene Shank.  Leonard Jerry Sparkman.  Paul O. Sparkman.  Jimmy Stuart Tullis.  Kenneth Earl Tullos.  Frances Evelyn Wilson.   

1960:  Tracy Daniels.  Cragar Doughty.  Kenneth Jewell.  Hershell Moore.  Raymond Paslay.  Everett Satterfield.  Shirley Thomas.  Tommy Tolar. 

1961:  Bennie Ralph Embrey.  Raymond Derrall Gregory.  Margaret Agnes Gunther.  Bobby J. Lamb.  Jackie Owen McSpadden.  James Thomas Neal.  Joe Stanley Register. 

1962:  Patsy Ann Frisby.  Danny Lee Kessinger.  Charles Edward Ledbetter.  Carolyn Ann Maddox.  Wilma Fay Turner.  Virginia Sue Walker. 

1964:  Donald G. Crow.  Georganne J. Fordyce.  Wanda Sue Hamby.  Travis Lee Johnson.  John P. Tyrone.  Sammy E. White. 

1965:  Phyllis Ann Alston.  John E. Becton.  Dale Carter.  Larry M. Foster.  Charles Macon Freeman.  Joseph Cline Kelly.  Jimmy Reid Little.  Roy Nash.  Ralph W. Sanders. 

1966:  Paul Wayne Cheek.  Patty Sue Combs.  William Terrill Flowers.  Mary Margaret Hayden.  Pearlie Louise Pickett.   

1967:  Linda Alston.  Harvey Bellas.  Earl Edwin Hightower.  Tommy Morgan.  Linda Kaye Phillips.  Jerry Richard Rice.  Clarence D. Richards.  Dickie L. Seifert.  William E. Stuckey.  Elizabeth Renee Sykes.  Karen Wooley. 

1968:  Frankie Anne Adkins.  Leslie Warren Anderson.  James Willie Clark.  Cindie Holland.  Emily Suzanne Michell.  Leesa Lee Miller.  George Russell Parker.  Gerald E. Scott, Jr.   Era Trice.  Johnny O. Weaver. 

1969:  Bobbie Jean Campbell.  Earl Edward Campbell.  Angella B. Coulter.  Terry L. Harper.  Larry G. Hightower.  Ronnie Eugene Kimsey.  Richard Lefler.  David J. Ransom.  Michael Steven Robertson.  Thomas John Ross.  Carolyn Sue Slatton.   

1970:  Harold Lewis Brewer.  Bobby Donne Flynn.  Alex Eugene Hartle.  Tennie Rose Moore.  Linnie Marie Stearman.  Walter Edward Wood, Jr. 

1971:  Johnye Elizabeth Adkins.  Glenn Raven Clark.  Sandra Kay Edwards.  Wilma June Foster.  Joe Sam Hayden.  Bruce Allen Higgs.  Wilson Louis Knighton.  Raymond Glenn Russell, Jr.  Virgil LeRoy Thomas.  Larry Henry Wayland. Larry Gene Wilson.   Jennie Lorene Woods.   

1972:  Martha Kay Butler.  Pamela Sue Hindman.  Harold L. Moreland.  James David Troy.  Jim Louis Wilson.   

1973:  Phyllis Jean Dancy.  Lowell DeWayne Hill.  Lou Ann Lozano.  Helen Jeanne McGraw.  Benny Joe Robertson.  Donna Mae Rorie.  Jeffrey Doyle Ruple.  Carol Ann Walker.  Grace Evelyn Williams.   

1974:  Sammy Ray Baldwin.  David Eugene Bethurem.  Rebekah Caye Henry.  Catherine Sue Kerns.  Jimmy McFarland.  William Park McKeown.  Bob R. Newman.  Patricia A. Sanders.  Judy Marie Weaver.   

1975:  Willie Don Allen.  James Robert Barnes.  Donna Carol Birdwell.  Jack Buford Bryant, Jr.  Larry Wayne Case.  Michael Moore Greenway.  Elden Eugene Hayden.  Wilmer Dewey McQuerry.  Kenith Wayne Miller.  Philip Anthony Wirzfeld.   

1976:  Claire Louise Barlow.  Charles David Bell.  Mary Denise Boone.  Robert William Boston.  Ginger Kathleen Bryant.  Floyd Dukes.  Louie Bruce Huffman.  Chris Anna McKenzie.  Irma Jean Nelson.  Debbie Ann Pearce.  Judy Lynn Scott.  Helen Glenece Stewart. 

1977:  Charles Steve Carrington.  Charles Wayne Chudej.  Arvel Denmon.  Donald Allan Hartle.  Kenneth Ray Hartle.  Maria Ann Kirby.  Michael Edward Morris.  Richard Angelo Paladino.  Robert Conrad Redus.  William D. Stearman.   

1978:  Pamela Suzette Barnes.  Dennis Gerald Cummings.  Penny Renee DuVall.  Roger R. Fouts.  Regulah M. Lindsey.  James Gibson Martin.  Clint Dow Rutherford.  Sandra Faye Scott.  Kathy Lynn Sharpnack.  Regina Yvette Watson. 

1979:  Dorothy Mae Bryant.  Shirley Lee Claypool.  Donnie Wayne Gillie.  Debra Sherry McEntire.  Wanda Lee Merritt.  Helen Joyce Page.  John Mark Watson. 

1980:  Glen Edward Baker.  Roderick J. Clemmons.  Catherine Ann Fritschie.  Raymond Odell Harris.  Phyllis Hunt.  Laura Ann Johnson.  Pamela Renee Johnson.  William G. Jones.  Stewart A. Overbey.  Mahalia Rauls.  Douglas Allen Roy.  Sherryll Ann Rutherford.  Mary Kelly Shinn.  Darryl Bernard Simmons.  Marsha Ann Spencer.  Roger D. Stracner.   

1981:  Barbara J. Allen.  Debra Lynne Austin.  Cynthia Bradshaw.  Fay Gaines.  Michael E. Godwin.  Billy Joe Huntsman.  David C. Jones, Jr.  Susan Darlene Keck.  Sherrill Curtis Owens.  David L. Ragland.  Charles Wayne Rhoden.  Mickey Dean Warford.   

1982:  Dorothy Carol Crain.  Curtis L. Foster.  James Henry Gatewood.  Douglas C. Jones.  Rovena Jones.  Debra Denise Joyner.  James Richard Kelley.  Gwendolyn Faye Larkin.  Arthur Keith Moore.  Todd Kevin Murphy.  Zelma Barr Barris Owens.  Kelley Michele Rowland.  Sandy D. Rowland.  Audrey D. Wilson.   Ray Anthony Wilson

1983:  Judy Kay Brewer.  Bryan Kenneth Earls, Jr.  Gerald Lee Fowler.  Annie Mae Graham.  Constance Rose Merritt.  Frank Edward Pifer, Jr.  Leodis Shaw.  Ronald Dwaine Smith.  James Alvin Summons.  Gary Brent Thrasher.

1984:  James Douglas Armstrong.  Jimmie Dean Brandon.  Franklin Wade Branum.  Kenny Ray Gulley.  Lucille Hiatt.  Michele Annette Keeland.  Damon Rocky Lipe.  Jon Richard McEntire.  Anthony Louis Ruffin.  Scotty Lynn Stewart.  Connie Lynn Thompson.  James Earl Walker.  Jerry Harold Walz.  Kay Aundra LeFaye Williams.   

1985:  Ronald R. Clements.  Robert Allen Groff.  Melissa Beth Kirby.  Robert Marshall Powers.  Darryl Steven Watson.  Freddie Earl Wilkey. 

1986:  Calvin Eugene Banks.  Tracy Gene Bennett.  Dewey Douglas Bevill.  Robert Donavon Brown.  Haskell Edmond Burks.  Timothy Michael Curtin.  Roy Wesley DePriest.  Janet Marie Ferguson.  Nita Sheryl Kizer.  Harold Wayne Lindsey.  Jerry D. Parker, Jr.  Richard Lee Payne.  Gayla Rae Potter.  Deborah Lynn Tucker.  Jim Reeves White. 

1987:  Tauny Lasha Alexander.  Anna Christene Blagg.  Gordon Keith Bowie.  Ronald Eric Bruce.  Michael Duane Fowler.  Herman Garrett III.  Ronald Shell Green.  Danny Wayne Howell.  Jacquette Michelle Thompson.  James Dale Woods. 

1988:  Brady L. Cook.  Kristina Marie Daily.  Robert R. Fagan.  Dale L. J. Hudson.  LaDonna Michelle Hinton.  Timothy E. Leet.  Verkita Lynn Marks.  Trina L. Nixon.  Leslie G. Overman.  Terry Dwayne Powell. 

1989:  Oddie Cunningham.  Nella Ruth Foster.  Kevin James Hudson.  Michelle Ruth Lilly.  Donald Lee Neer.  Donald Steven Nixon.  Keli Michelle Perkins.  Marc J. Ragland.  Elizabeth Anne Rodgers.   

1990:  Tammy Marie Chaffin.  Tina Renee Cox.  Sean Christopher Culbertson.  Jose’ I. Suarez Garcia.  Carlo Green.  M. David Jones.  Melvin Neer.  Albert Carl Payton.  Owen Wallace Thomas, Jr.  Ronnie Lee Warren. 

1991:  Stephanie Renne Hubbard Bailey.  Earnest Lemont Bell.  Eric Ray Foster.  Chad Randall Hendricks.  Shawn Erik Hubert.  James Earl Jones.  Ann Michele McKee.  Bobby Joe Thompson.  Isaac Joe Wells.   

1992:  Wade Mathew Bailey.  Patrick O’Neal Nixon.  Susan Frances Olson.  Brent Lee Philpot.  Richard Strickland.  Eddie Deon Towns.  Candie Leshay Wilson. 

1993:  David Wayne Davis.  Kennedy Lee Dodds.  Detina Shanta Eaton.  Luis Flores.  Teresa Joyce Hardin.  Steven Charles Howard.  Christopher Lynn Hughes.  Gregory Trellis Jester.  Teresa Ann Jones.  Daniel Kruger.  Paula Ann Pettengill.  Ulises Salas.  Mark Allen Scharf.  William Jason Thompson.   Leon Dewayne Tidwell. 

1994:  Lorri Oneal Collins.  James D. Finley.  Otis Green.  Jimmy Joseph Kellensworth.  Daryl Dwain King.  Sandra Kay McAnally.  Olympia Kozette Nard.  Elizabeth Renee Whitaker.  Courtney Lamar Williams. 

1995:  Nicole Renee Barnes.  William Alex Billings.  Phillip Raymond Claborn.  Richard Elvin Cottrell.  Wendy Elaine Ellis.  James O. Hornback.  Leslie Diane Keck.  Jeffrey Michael Kelso.  Jason Michael Moore.  John W. Naquin, Jr.  Bobby Ray Newman, Jr.  Kalenski Raydell Young. 

1996:  Frank Lee Isom, IV.  Skyler Dawn Keith.  William Scott Randolph.  Casey Lane Roberts.  Janetta Wynn Watson.   

1997:  Larry S. Bailey.  Donald W. Brown.  Hershel Cox.  Christopher James Crosby.  Timothy B. Hendrix.  Jeff T. Howell.  Craig William Robinson.  Lewis E. Thompson. 

1998:  Seth U. Chaney.  Michelle J. Edwards.  Mark Lamont Hayes.  Phillip Jeremiah Jenkins.  Rodney Earl Lowe.  Stacy Eugene Reed.  Jeremy D. Roberts.  Kethrick Kunte Smith.  Jean Renee Ward. 

1999:  Kesha Lasha Bell.  Anmol P. Bhatia.  Lisa Michelle Bowman.  Rossico Ceon Dotson.  Broderick Desha Ganaway.  Jeremy Brice Harper.  Eric D. King.  Levi Daniel Ryals.  Joshua Kenneth Warren.   

2000:  Willie Lee Ayers.  Margaret Anne Jeanette Berry.  Joshua Lee Colburn.  Christopher Corey Epperson.  Crystal Dianne Garcia.  Aaronee Shawnta Harris.  Jennifer Marie Jones.  Stephanie Lasley.  Alisha Lynn Moore.  Claude Samuel Purser.  Neiakishia Duanette Watson.   

2001:  Jeremy Baldwin.  Sekeska Campbell.  Ashley Fielding.  Chad King. 

2002:  Clinton Paul Copeland.  Ray Miller.  Shaterria Victoria Murrel.  Nivea Stewart.  Jerrell Trice.  Joy Watson. 

2003:  Alicia Jo Adams.  Sarah Susan Faris.  Paul Jay Foster.  Brandon Ross Hogue.  Tyler Aaron Likert.  Roy Dean Miller.  Jeremy Milton Millwood.  Euron Tramaine Smith.  Christopher Quentin Welch. 

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Adopted June 14, 1979
As revised from the 1919 constitution of the Arkansas State Association for the Blind
Amended June 1984
Amended June 1989


Section 1 - Name:

The name of this organization shall be the Arkansas School for the Blind Alumni Association.

Section 2 - Purpose:

The purpose of this organization shall be to engage in activities which: 1. Assist the Arkansas School for the Blind in providing quality educational and social services to its students; 2. Promote the general interest and well-being of blind and visually impaired citizens in Arkansas; and 3. Conduct annual conventions to assist in accomplishing the two above-mentioned purposes as well as to provide times and places for reunions of its members.


    Section 1 - Classes of Membership:

The membership of this Association shall consist of four classes: Active, Associate, Life, and Honorary.

            A. Active Membership:

Active members shall consist of blind and visually impaired persons who are 18 years of age or    older and those Associate and Honorary members who are elected by a two-thirds majority vote of Active members present and voting at a regular business session, except that students of the Arkansas School for the Blind may not hold membership. Persons shall be considered as blind or visually impaired if deemed as such by a generally recognized agency for, or organization of, the blind. Active members who are present at business sessions of the Association shall have the privilege of the floor in all discussions, may make or second motions, and shall be entitled to one vote. Active members who were present at the time of the organization of the Arkansas State Association for the Blind (the name of this organization before June 14, 1975) or who paid their initial fees on or before July 1, 1919, shall be deemed as charter members.

            B. Associate Membership:

 Persons who express and maintain an interest in assisting the Association in accomplishing its purposes as set forth in ARTICLE I are entitled to Associate membership. Associate members shall have the privilege of the floor in all discussions but may not make or second motions and shall not be entitled to vote. Associate members are entitled to Active membership if nominated at a regular business session and elected at a following business session by a two-thirds majority of active members present and voting. Except that Associate members may be elected to Active membership at the business session at which they are nominated by a unanimous vote.

           C. Life Membership:

 Active and Associate members are entitled to Life membership in the class of membership to which they belong upon the payment of 25 times the amount of the annual dues of such class into the treasury. Annual dues paid prior to the request for Life membership shall not count toward the payment of the Life membership fee. Persons holding Life membership before the adoption of this constitution shall not be assessed any additional fees.

            D. Honorary Membership:

Persons who have performed special services for the Association or who have achieved distinction in any honorable pursuit are eligible to be elected to Honorary membership. The vote of two-thirds majority of the Active members present and voting at a regular business session shall be necessary for election to Honorary membership.

     Section 2 - Payment of Dues:

 Active and Associate members shall not be entitled to exercise their privileges of their respective classes of membership as set forth in Section 1 of this article at an annual convention until they have paid their dues to the Treasurer for the year in which the annual convention is being held. Dues for Active and Associate members shall be established and revised from time to time as necessary by the active membership at a regular business session. Life membership dues shall be 25 times the amount of the annual dues for the class of membership (Active or Associate) to which persons are entitled to belong. Honorary members shall not be required to pay dues.


     Section 1 - Officers:

The officers of this Association shall consist of President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and Treasurer.

    Section 2 - Duties of Officers:

            A. President:

The President shall preside over all meetings of the Association and Board of Directors; appoint all committees; and perform all other duties as are usually required of such an officer.

            B. Vice President:

The Vice President shall perform the duties of the President in his absence and chair the Program Committee unless the President designates another person as its chair.

            C. Recording Secretary:

The Recording Secretary shall keep minutes of the proceedings of all meetings; keep a roll of the names of members attending each convention; and perform all other duties usually required of such an officer.

            D. Corresponding Secretary:

The Corresponding Secretary shall attend to all correspondence of the Association; and shall maintain a list of the names and addresses of members of the Association.

            E. Treasurer:

The Treasurer shall collect all funds; pay all bills of expenditures having the approval of the Board of Directors; make loans when approved by the Board of Directors; forward the names of the members who have paid their dues during the current year to the Recording Secretary; forward the names and addresses of new members and changes of address of other members to the Corresponding Secretary; make annual reports to the Association; and make available the Association's records from time to time to be audited as required by the Board of Directors or the Association.

    Section 3 - Election of Officers:

             A. Terms of Office:

All officers shall be elected for two-year terms at a regular business session of the Association's annual convention during even-numbered years. The President and Vice President may not serve for more than two consecutive terms unless elected to additional terms by a two-thirds majority of members present and voting. No limit shall be placed upon the terms to which the Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and Treasurer may be elected.

            B. Method of Election:

To be elected, a candidate must receive a majority vote of the membership present and voting. If no candidate receives a majority vote, there shall be a run-off election between the two candidates receiving the largest pluralities.

        Section 4 - Board of Directors:

The Board of Directors (hereinafter the Board) shall consist of the five officers, the past President - who may serve for no more than one two-year term, and six Board members who shall serve four-year terms. No limitation shall be placed upon the number of terms which Board members may serve. The members of the Association are the supreme governing authority, and the Board may not take any action which conflicts with policies of the Association.

        Section 5 - Duties of the Board:

The Board shall select the time and place of the annual convention; approve all expenditures; fill vacancies of Officers and Board members occurring between elections; approve loans; approve recommendations of the Program Committee; originate ideas for the growth of the Association; and perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Association.

        Section 6 - Election of Board Members:

            A. Method of Election:

To be elected to the Board a candidate must receive a majority vote under the same procedures as set forth for the election of officers in section 3 of this article.

            B. Terms of Office:

Candidates selected to fill Positions 1, 2, and 3 shall be alternated with Positions 4, 5, and 6 on a staggered basis. Elections will occur in even numbered years, and Board members will serve four-year terms.

        Section 7 - Removal of Officers and Board Members:

An Officer or Board Member who fails to attend three consecutive Board Meetings without valid reasons, (the validity of such reasons to be determined by the Board) shall automatically be removed from the position to which he was elected.


        Section 1 - Procedures:

Unless otherwise specified, the procedures for conducting all meetings of the Board and the Association shall be those contained in ROBERTS' RULES OF ORDER latest edition.

        Section 2 - Quorums for Meetings of the Membership:

Twenty-five active members of the Association shall constitute a quorum for conducting business.

        Section 3 - Quorum for Meetings of the Board:

Six members shall constitute a quorum for conducting business.


        Section 1 - Maintenance of Fund:

The Association shall maintain a loan fund for use by its Active members who are blind, except that loans may not be made to members of the Board. Loans may not be approved if as a result the balance of funds in the Association's accounts would be reduced to less than $500.00.

        Section 2 - Procedures for Making Loans:

Applications for loans shall be made to the Treasurer, who, after investigating the conditions and arranging terms, shall report requests and recommendations to the Board for its consideration. Loans shall be made at the rate of interest as established and revised from time to time by the Board.


This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority of members present at any regular business session of the Association. Amendments may not be adopted at the business session during which they are presented, except that amendments may be adopted at any regular business session by unanimous consent.


        Section 1 - Purposes As Prescribed by the Internal Revenue Code:

This Association is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes; including for such purposes as the making of contributions to organizations which qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue Law).

        Section 2 - Prohibitions as Prescribed by the Internal Revenue Code:

No part of the net earnings of the Association shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable, to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons except that the Association shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Section 1 of this article. No substantial part of the activities of the Association shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the Association shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing and distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, the Association shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by a corporation exempt from Federal Income Tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue Law) or to (b) by a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provisions of any future United States Revenue Law).

        Section 3 - Dissolution As Prescribed by the Internal Revenue Code:

Upon dissolution of the Association, the Board of Directors shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all of the liabilities of the Association, dispose of all of the assets of the Association exclusively for the purposes of the Association in such manner, or to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, religious, or scientific purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), as the Board of Directors shall determine. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas of the County in which the principal office of the Association is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.

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Distinguished Alumni 

Many significant people have made contributions to the development of the Arkansas School for the Blind into one of the best schools of its type in the nation. I hope to include additional biographies on this page in the days to come.  Below is a list of some individuals who were prominent in the history of ASB:

Otis Patten,     Professor Emile Trebing,     Mr. James Max Woolly,     John \Ed Chiles,    

Eula Shults,     O. W. Holmes,     R. E. Hartman,     Myrtis Jones,     Miss Rose Fussell,    

Mary Harper Sowell,     

Otis Patten:
Otis Patten was the first superintendent at ASB. he worked tirelessly to overcome public apathy and to secure funding and land for the first school for the blind in Arkansas.





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Professor Emile Trebing:
Professor Trebing was a highly-gifted, partially sighted instructor of music who taught Piano, organ, strings woodwinds and music theory at ASB for 52 years. He was a talented musician who could play many instruments with great skill. Students describe "Professor" as a big, jolly, lovable teddy bear.  He possessed an extraordinary ear for music. Those who knew him well say that he could play a piece of music immediately after hearing it played for the first time or after the music was read to him.

He and his wife were very active in the community. Professor Trebing was the organist at First Presbyterian Church in Little Rock for many years. Mr. and Ms. Trebing secured funding for a residence for blind women (The Trebing Home) at a time when the need for such a facility was acute. They were also largely responsible for the founding of the Association for the Blind which became the ASB Alumni Association.

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Compositions of Professor Emile Trebing

Professor Emile Trebing composed songs to be performed by the choral group which he directed.  Two of his most well-known compositions are "National Airs" and "Christmas Round." 

National Airs

"National Airs" was a musical arrangement combining "America," "Old Folks At Home," "Dixie," "Yankee Doodle" and "Columbia the Gem of the Ocean."  The composition begins with bass voices singing "America."  When the bass section begins the second verse, alto voices join in singing "Old Folks At Home." As the bass section begins the third verse of "America," and the alto singers begin the second verse of "Old Folks At Home," Soprano voices join in singing "Dixie. "Finally, the tenor section joins in singing portions of "Yankee Doodle" and "Columbia the gem of the ocean."  This song has been a favorite of students over the years.  

Christmas Round
Emile Trebing

 Do you hear the bells, the merry sleigh bells,
And old Santa's tuneful lay,
Waking everyone with shouts and happy hearts
to welcome Christmas Day!

Boys and girls find flashlights, air guns, marbles, tops and balls,
Watches, vases, dolls and dishes, stoves and games that all can play.
Wagons, rocking chairs and swings, books with pictures gay.
Candy, popcorn, and luscious fruits and mixed nuts, say!

We have no time now to mention all the other things,
for we must thank dear old Santa Clause ere he steals away.
Santa, Santa, ha ha ha ha ha,
heartiest Thanks, wish you could stay.
Good bye, come Back when e'er you may.

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James Max Woolly:
Mr. J. M. Woolly came to ASB in 1939 as principal and was appointed to the position of superintendent in 1947. Under his guidance, the school was transformed in to one of the leading schools for the blind in the nation. During his 44-year tenure, the curriculum was modified to place greater emphasis on academics and development of social skills. J. M. Woolly was able to secure funding for several new buildings which were constructed on the ASB campus. These included Shults House, Prewitt Hall, The Smith Vocational Building, The Hartman Gymnasium, The Learning Center, the superintendent's residence and the Woolly Fine Arts Building.

Mr. Woolly accomplished these dramatic improvements by working 16-hour days and by recruiting and employing a highly-qualified work force which shared his enthusiasm and dedication and whole-heartedly responded to his leadership.

Mr. Woolly was directly involved in every aspect of the program at ASB. He drove the school bus, officiated at athletic events, oversaw curriculum development and supervised the teaching, home life and maintenance staffs. It was not unusual to observe him performing a maintenance task or picking up trash around the buildings.

J. M. Woolly was active in national organizations which worked towards improving education for visually impaired persons. In 1978, Dr. Woolly was awarded the Migel Medal by the American Foundation for the Blind for his outstanding contributions in the field of education. The contributions made by Mr. Woolly in the field of education of the visually impaired have made a vast difference in the lives of generations of students who attended ASB, and he is loved and respected by those who worked under his supervision or benefited from his work.

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John Ed Chiles:
John Ed Chiles graduated from ASB in 1943, earned a degree in history and political science from Hendrix College, and completed graduate studies at Vanderbilt University before returning to ASB as secondary social studies teacher. During his thirty-seven years at the school, John Ed impacted the lives of hundreds of boys and girls. In his classroom social studies came alive and became meaningful to students who, heretofore, had given little serious thought to geography or history and who cared little for world affairs. Mr. Chiles commanded the respect of students and was able to motivate students to achieve at a higher level than they thought possible.

John Ed served a highly-successful stint as principal from 1956 until 1963, performing a duel role as he continued teaching some social studies classes. He demonstrated superior organizational skills and was respected by teachers and students for his fairness, his objectivity and his willingness to listen. However, his great love was teaching; and in 1963 he was permitted to return to the classroom full time.

John Ed sponsored many class parties, called square dances for the square dance club and organized the ASB Student Council in the early 1950's. He served as student council sponsor until his retirement in 1985.

Mr. "C.," as he was affectionately known, was a symbol of academic excellence at ASB for 37 years. He was a teacher and a friend to many students. Their great respect for Mr. Chiles served to insure that students remembered who was teacher and who was student. He was generous with his time, spending many hours after school and on weekends with his students whose company he sincerely enjoyed. It was a common sight to see John Ed with a group of students on a Saturday Morning discussing world affairs or yesterday’s world series game, listening to classical music or the latest rock and roll hit as he shared his large record collection or playing horse in the swimming pool. Students found it refreshing and unusual to find a friend among the faculty who could enjoy with equal fervor a Bethoven symphony and the latest hit by the Dave Clark five.

After graduation, many students remained friends with Mr. Chiles and continued to call him or correspond with him for advice or encouragement. Mr. Chiles served as a model to generations of students- a reminder as to what could be achieved by a person with a visual impairment who was determined and applied himself. John Ed Chiles did not promote such a role for himself. He was delegated that role by the students who loved and respected him and who were buoyed by his encouragement and friendship.

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Eula Shults:
Eula Shults taught home economics to girls in grades 7-12 from 1940 until her retirement in 1970. Ms. Shults possessed enormous patience, sincerity, great kindness and a tireless work ethic. Eula Shults served as the "Emily Post" of ASB. It was she who defined what was correct in social behavior and table etiquette; and in instances where there might be disagreement among faculty members, she cast the deciding vote. Ms. Shults was highly respected by boys and girls alike; who (in the words of Mark Twain) "never needed to be reminded to mind their manners when she was around." She was not as popular as some faculty members among students. That fact was of no concern to Eula Shults. She did not seek popularity. Her one goal, which she pursued constantly and with vigor, was that girls become independent home makers, and that all students learn proper etiquette and learn to behave as ladies and gentlemen in order to assume responsible social positions upon graduation from ASB. Ms Shults designed Shults House which stands in front of the Administration Building. The building was completed in 1970 and dedicated in her honor just prior to her death.

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Oliver Wendell Holmes:
O. W. Holmes arrived at ASB in 1958 and functioned in the duel role of industrial arts instructor and senior-high boys houseparent, and for 22 years defined the male role for countless boys who were often from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. From this kind, sensitive, caring, gentle, soft-spoken man, boys learned that boastfulness, vulgarity, violence and boorish behavior did not make a person a man-that it was manly to be courteous, quiet and respectful of others.

O. W. Holmes patiently stressed cleanliness to boys who had received little instruction or encouragement in practicing good hygiene. In his industrial arts classes, he stressed safety and conscientiously observed students working until they demonstrated to his satisfaction that they understood and would practice rules of safety. There was never an incident of a student’s being injured while Mr. Holmes taught at ASB.

Wendell Holmes exhibited the highest respect for his students. His methods were unique and rare. He seldom laid down rules or told students what they could or could not do. His dialog with students included phrases such as: "you might want to," "You probably will want to," or "I don't think you would want to" . . . Mr. Holmes operated under the theory that people inherently want to do the right thing. His task, as he saw it, was to convey to students in a respectful and non-threatening manner what was proper and desirable. Though he encouraged students to better themselves, he never made comments which were belittling or which would cast dispersions on students' families.

He was wily and subtle in his approach and could state an opinion without students being aware that he was doing so. Implicit in Mr. Holmes' lessons was this message: "This is something which any decent, well-bred, intelligent, responsible person would do. Since you are obviously decent, well-bred, intelligent and responsible, I'm sure that you will want to do it too." His approach was successful because his respect for others was genuine.

Mr. Holmes' devotion to his family did not prevent him from spending countless hours with ASB students watching football games, reading to them from the newspaper and discussing world affairs. He enjoyed explaining football plays and formations to students, and was an avid Razorback fan. He was a mentor, a friend and a father figure for many boys who are grateful and fortunate that he touched their lives.

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Runyan Eugene Hartman:
R. E. Hartman: was employed at ASB from 1945 until his death in 1973. Mr. Hartman was something of a renaissance man. He served as physical education instructor for elementary and secondary students, coached wrestling and track and taught piano tuning and repair to secondary students. Though partially sighted, Coach Hartman was a gifted amateur photographer who developed pictures in his dark room at home. He played classical guitar and possessed a beautiful singing voice.

R. E. Hartman established wrestling and track as viable sports for students with visual impairments and promoted them in other schools for the blind. He stressed physical fitness and set an example for his students to follow. Coach Hartman's athletic teams achieved many successes over the years. In 1956, ASB wrestlers finished first among thirteen competitive teams in a tournament of schools for the blind.

However, it was as a physical education teacher that Mr. Hartman demonstrated his true brilliance. His well-rounded curriculum featured physical fitness, gymnastics, swimming and games specially designed to teach cooperation, sportsmanship and full participation by all students. Coach Hartman possessed an uncanny ability to judge how well each student could see and to understand the unique characteristics of each students particular eye condition. He was able to design games which would force students to make maximum use of their vision. Mr. Hartman's games were so ingeniously designed that students with varying degrees of vision loss could compete on an equal footing. His games always included special rules which assured that students who were totally blind would play a meaningful part in the game. The result was that Hartman's games were fair and demanding, and students responded with enthusiasm and fierce competitiveness. Students with some vision learned to use that vision more effectively. Students who were totally blind learned to rely on hearing. All students under Mr. Hartman's tutelage learned sportsmanship and cooperation; and experienced the joy and pride which comes from being physically fit and competent.

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Myrtis Jones:
Myrtis Jones was energetic, determined, plain-spoken and strong-willed. She arrived at ASB in 1959 and needed these traits to complete her many accomplishments. Though her tenure at the school was relatively brief, (fifteen years) she impacted the educational program and the lives of students as much as any person who ever graced the campus. She was the first certified librarian to be employed at the Arkansas School for the Blind.

Upon her arrival, she found a large, disorganized collection of books shelved in no particular order and according to no logical system. Scattered throughout the clutter were books written in raised print and in "New York Point" formats. These were reading systems for visually impaired persons which had long ago been discontinued in favor of braille. Ms. Jones understood clearly what had to be done, and she worked long hours, often late into the night to set things right. She established the Dewey Decimal System and organized the book collection. She labeled shelves in large print and braille, and discarded those books which were of no use to teachers or students. Though she was told repeatedly that it couldn't be done, Myrtis Jones created the first duel-media card catalog with over-sized index cards containing information in braille on one side and information in large print on the opposite side.

To accomplish these tasks she enlisted the help of students who performed for Ms. Jones without any understanding as to why the worked was necessary. Some of the tasks were immensely enjoyable for students. Throwing discarded books out the window, for example, was an activity which had never been sanctioned by an adult. Brailling and filing cards for the card catalog was a tedious and a task not relished by students.

Ms. Jones had a keen appreciation for history. She discarded that which had no value and saved those things which were significant in the history of education for the visually impaired or to the history of ASB. she created special displays which exhibited these items.

When she arrived, Myrtis Jones could not read braille, though she soon learned the braille code. She had never taught visually impaired students. However, Ms. Jones was one of a very few people who sincerely believed that individuals who were visually impaired could do anything which they wanted to do; and she manifested this attitude with such assurance that students were compelled to accept her convictions. Students in the Library Club, which she established immediately upon her arrival, always assumed leadership roles at local and state library conventions, campaigning for office, serving on committees, providing entertainment and serving as facilitators. In the early 1960's students in the ASB Library Club organized and hosted the state convention, with Myrtis Jones hovering in the background as was her custom. When one of her protégées achieved success, Ms. Jones did not respond with praise. Her words were more often, "of course, why not. If others can do it, you can also."

On one occasion, when key personnel from some schools failed to show up at a state convention, ASB students salvaged the convention, facilitating meetings, providing the keynote speaker and the entertainment. Ms. Jones sat smugly among the librarians in attendance, as was her custom,  with just a trace of a smile concealing her pride as best she could. The pride she felt was not in the fact that her students could function thus, she had known that from the beginning; rather, it came from the realization that after years of encouraging, pushing and nagging, her students possessed this knowledge as well.

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Miss Rose
Miss Rose Fussell Attended ASB in The decade between 1910 and 1920 where she studied music under Professor Trebing.  She was an excellent pianist and could play most any song which she heard by ear. However, there were few opportunities for persons who were blind to work at that time; so after graduating in 1920, Miss Rose returned to Cotton Plant, Arkansas where she had grown up and lived for a time with her brother. 

 In 1929, she secured a position as “office girl” at ASB, but a year later when a new superintendent was employed, she learned that her position was being eliminated, and she went back to Cotton Plant to her brother’s home.  Miss Rose played piano for a time at the local theater.  She persuaded the principal at the local high school to allow her to direct the student choral group, and succeeded in winning a state competition.  The group performed “National Airs” at the competition, a composition written by her high school music teacher, Professor Trebing. 

 In 1939, Miss Rose was employed by the new Superintendent to serve as a houseparent for girls and to teach music to Kindergarten and primary students.  Miss Rose loved the children and she loved teaching.  She taught her rhythm band students five  days a week for 28 years.  No one can remember Miss Rose’s missing a day of work.  She composed little songs for her students to perform and taught them the basics of rhythm and meter.  Later she began teaching her students to play flute-a-phones,  and her students performed annually in Christmas programs for proud and incredulous parents. 

 In addition to her rhythm band instruction, Miss Rose taught beginning piano students and was responsible for teaching all braille users to read braille music.  Generations of talented music students owed their success in large measure to Miss Rose, who provided them with a sound music foundation.  She Had a big heart, often spending a portion of her meager earnings to help needy students. Her gifts to students were given anonymously.  The beneficiaries of her generosity were never made aware from whence the money came; and  Miss Rose never received the expressions of gratitude which would have certainly been forth coming.   

Miss Rose was a hardy, determined pioneer at a time when opportunities for persons who were blind were very few.  She was a cheerful, loving, proud, determined and independent person who. Asked for little and made the best of opportunities which were available.  Those young people whose lives she touched were grateful and fortunate for having known Miss Rose Fussell.  .  

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Compositions by Miss Rose Fussell

The Rhythm Band Instrument Song
By Rose Fussell
Key of D, 4/4 Time

Silv’ry bells ring jingle, jingle, jing,
And the triangle says, "Ting, ting."
"A-rap-a-tap-tap," go the rhythm sticks,
and the tone block, "Click, click, click."
The tambourines will rap-shake-shake;
Oh hear the crash the cymbals make; 
Then the drum beats loud and gay,
and the whole rhythm band will play.

Miss Rose’s Rhythm Band Theme Song
By Rose Mary Fussell
Key of G, 4/4 Time
Did anybody tell you just how nice it is to be,
Playing in the rhythm band at good old A.S.B.?
Although we’re not so very big, we count our 1-2-3’s,
Playing in the rhythm band at good old A.S.B.

This song was usually sung, followed by Miss Rose playing  the song on the piano accompanied by the rhythm band, and sung a final time. 

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Mary Harper Sowell

After graduating from North Little Rock Senior High School, Mary Harper Sowell entered Arkansas State Teachers College in the fall of 1944.  She roomed with two students, Jeanne Mitchell and Nadine Fitzhue,  who had attended The Arkansas School for the Blind. She became a reader to seven students who were blind for which Rehab paid her twenty-five cents per hour. Mary Harper earned enough to pay her room and board, which was twenty-eight dollars per month.

Through the students she met Mr. Phineas Davis, Superintendent of The Arkansas School for the Blind.  During her junior year she was hired by Mr. Davis  to teach English and foreign languages AT ASB upon her  graduation,  She was graduated in the Spring of 1947 AFTER attending three winter semesters and two summer terms.

In the fall of 1947 Mary Harper moved to the ASB campus for a twenty-four-hour-a-day seven-days per week job.   She taught seventh through twelfth grade English plus high school French. She was housemother to high school girls, and, as did all teachers there, kept night study hall, did dining hall duty, three times a day  taught Sunday school, lead a

group of Y-Teens, chaperauned students on weekly trips to downtown movies and taught social adjustment classes which emphasized self-improvement through the development of social and recreational skills.  Miss Harper chaperoned students at parties, picnics, and proms. She washed forty heads of hair weekly and assisted the principal in cutting the boys” hair monthly. Mary Harper Sowell had no time off, nor did she really want any. Her school and her students were her life for five years.

In 1952, she was married and taught for two years at a Junior high school in her home town of North Little Rock. She decided to take a year off while she was expecting her first child. But before he was a year old, Mr. Woolly called and "ordered" her back to ASB. He would accept no excuses, so she returned in 1954 and taught there until she retired in 1974 to become the full-time State Braille and Recording Specialist at The Division of Services for the Blind, where she worked for 16 years.

In a recent interview Ms. Sowell stated:

"My wonderful memories of life at ASB sustain me now that I am bed fast with arthritis and osteoporosis, and I have become legally blind. My former students tell me, "“welcome to the club” and “join the crowd.” I hear almost daily from students that I taught as much as fifty years ago, and many come to visit me. I get braille letters, and even some in French braille.  I live in Fairfield Bay near my two children, Willy and Cissy, and my four grandchildren. I have had the best of all lives and I am grateful to all who remember me kindly."

Ms. Sowell is remembered by students and co-workers as a kind, generous, helpful and fiercely independent person who manifested respect for everyone and functioned in a manner which commanded respect from others. If one heard Mary Sowell conversing at a distance, it was impossible to determine if her listener was a student, a teacher, the superintendent or the custodian. She treated everyone equally. She was friendly, helpful, and kind, but never solicitous.

Mary Sowell believed firmly in the two platitudes, "God helps those who help themselves," and "Where there is a will, there is a way." When a student showed the will to succeed, he/she immediately earned the respect of Ms. Sowell and gained an ally, always on hand with encouragement, advice and support. Students whom others gave up on succeeded under Ms. Sowell= s tutelage. If a willing student with cerebral palsy could use but one hand to type, she worked tirelessly to teach him/her to type with one hand. Students who encountered difficulty in reading found that they could learn material orally by exhibiting perseverance and benefiting from novel strategies employed by the skillful, caring teacher which Mary Sowell was. For these reasons Mary Harper Sowell is loved and respected by generations of students who owe a measure of their success in later life to the kindness and support which she bestowed  constantly.

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School Songs

ASB Alma Mater
Written in 1951
Words by Other Brown and Ken Bruton, graduation Class of 1951.
Music Written by Raymond Sykes, graduation class of 1930, and director of Instrumental and choral music for many years.
Key of F. 4/4 time.

1.  Hail to thee, oh A.S.B.,,
Our heads bow down before you;
Great numbers shall thy glory see,
For those you've known adore you;
Oh hail to thee, oh A.S.B.,
We'll always stand beside you;
And never shall they say of thee
That those you love denied you.

2.  When we've gone, and passed thee on,
Oh pleasant hall of learning,
How sweet our stay, how good the day,
When we will be returning;
Though we attain life's highest goals, as one we all agree:
We'll be as in the days of old, thy students, A.S.B. 
Click Here for Music

SCHOOL SONG from the 1930'S

For dear old ASB we'll fall in line;
We're gonna strut our stuff another time; 
We're gonna Yelll Yell! Yell! Yell! Yell! Yell! Yell!
For dear old ASB we'll yell -- we're gonna yell.
Our colors, purple and gold, mean victory,
And our good name will live in history;
We're gonna boost ASB to the top  on the square;
Rah! Rah! Rah!

(Sung to the music of "Washington and Lee Swing")

Pep Song From the 1970's

Oklahoma (opponent) here we come.
Arkansas is where we're from.
We'll pin you; we'll beat you; We'll win the Match.
We'll romp you; We'll stomp you; We will make you wish you'd never met a Titan team this strong,
As we sing our victory song.
We'll use your heads to beat our drums!
Oklahoma, here we come!

(Sung to the music of "California, here I come")

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School Songs From the Past

 Key of G Sharp, 4/4 Time

 1.  I am thinking tonight of the Southland, of the home of my childhood days,
Where I roamed through the woods and the meadows, by the mill and the brook that plays;
Where the roses are in bloom, and the sweet magnolia too,
Where the jasmine is white, and the fields are violet blue,
There a welcome awaits all her children who have wandered afar from home.
Arkansas, Arkansas, ‘tis a name dear, ‘tis the place I call "Home, Sweet Home;"
Arkansas, Arkansas, I salute thee, from thy shelter no more I’ll roam.

2.  ‘Tis a land full of joy and of sunshine, rich in pearls and in diamonds rare,
Full of hope, faith, and love for the stranger who may pass ‘neath her portals fair;
There the rice fields are full, and the cotton, corn, and hay,
There the fruits of the field bloom in winter months and May,
‘Tis the land that I love, First of all dear, and to her let us all give sheer.

The Arkansas Traveler
Official Song of the State of Arkansas
Key of G, 4/4 Time

 1.  On a lonely road quite long ago
A trav'ler trod with fiddle and a bow;
While rambling thru the country rich and grand,
He quickly sensed the magic and the beauty of the land.
  For the Wonder State we'll sing a song,
And lift our voices loud and long.
For the Wonder State we'll shout Hurrah!
And praise the opportunities we find in ARKANSAS.

2.  Many years have passed, the travelers gay
Repeat the tune along the highway;
And Ev'ry voice that sings the glad refrain
Re-echoes from the mountains to the fields of growing grain.

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Web master's Note: this is the constitution of the Arkansas State Association for the Blind which was established in 1919 and replaced in 1979 by a revised constitution.  This constitution is no longer in effect.  It was replaced in 1979 by the "Arkansas School for the Blind Alumni Association Constitution" which now serves as the constitution for the ASB Alumni Association and is printed above.  This constitution is being printed on this web page in order to preserve a piece of history. 

Article I

Section 1: The name of this Association shall be "THE ARKANSAS STATE ASSOCIATION FOR THE BLIND."

Article ii

Section 1: The purposes of the Association are to promote, in every feasible way, the educational, the vocational, the social, and the general welfare of the blind; and to create a loan fund to assist the worthy and capable blind in their various pursuits.

Article III

Section 1: The officers of the Association shall be President, two Vice Presidents, a Recording Secretary, a Corresponding Secretary, and a Treasurer.

Section 2: No officer shall be elected for more than two consecutive terms, except Corresponding Secretary, and Treasurer, unless by unanimous consent.

Article IV

Section 1: It shall be the duty of the President to preside over all meetings of the Association and to perform such other duties as are usually performed by such officer.

Section 2: It shall be the duty of the Vice Presidents, in their respective order, to perform the duties of the President in his absence.

Section 3: It shall be the duty of the Recording Secretary to keep the minutes of the proceedings of all meetings; to keep a roll of members and their addresses; to keep a record of their attendance; and to perform such other duties
As are usually required of such officer.

Section 4: It shall be the duty of the Corresponding Secretary to attend to all correspondence of the Association, and to act as Secretary to all Constitutional Committees.

Section 5: It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to collect all funds; to pay all bills for current expenses; subject to the approval of the Executive Committee; to make loans as recommended by the Finance Committee; and to make an annual report to the Association. His books shall be audited by a Committee appointed by the Executive Committee. The Treasurer shall furnish bond as required by the Executive Committee.

Article V

Section 1: The membership shall consist of Active, Associate, Honorary, and Life Members.

Section 2: Any blind person, 18 years of age or more who has finished a course in some school, or who has been successful in life, is eligible to Active membership. No pupil of the Arkansas School for the Blind may become a member of the Association as long as he remains a pupil of the School. All Active Members present at the time of the organization, or who paid their initiation fee on or before July 1, 1919, are to be considered as Charter Members.

Section 3: Any person who feels an interest in the welfare of the blind is eligible to "Associate Membership.

Section 4: Any person who has performed special service for the Association or who has achieved distinction in any honorable pursuit is eligible for Honorary Membership.

Section 5: Any member paying twenty-five dollars ($25.00) or more into the treasury of the Association in one year is eligible to Life Membership.

Article VI

Section 1: The vote of two-thirds of all the Active Members present at any business meeting shall be necessary for the election of Honorary Members. No Honorary Member shall be elected at the same session in which he is nominated.

Section 2: Honorary and Associate Members shall have the privilege of the floor in all discussions and may be made Active Members by a majority vote of all the Active Members present.

Article VII

Section 1: There shall be an Executive, a Financial, and a Legislative Committee, each of which shall make a report at each business meeting of the Association.

Section 2: The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, the Corresponding Secretary, the Treasurer, and two other members elected at large from the Association.

Section 3: The Finance Committee shall consist of the Treasurer, who shall be chairman of the Committee, and four other members elected at large by standing vote of the majority of members present, three of whom shall be graduate of a School for the Blind. One member of this Committee shall be elected each year, and each member shall hold office for a term of four years.

Section 4: The Legislative Committee shall consist of members of the Association appointed by the President.

Article VIII

Section 1: It shall be the duty of the Executive Committee to select a time and place of meeting; to arrange programs; to control and pass on all current expenses; to originate ideas for the growth of the Association; to fill all vacancies occurring between meetings; and to perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Association. The Executive Committee shall have the power to suspend any officer or member of the Association by a four-fifths vote of the Committee until the next meeting of the Association.

Section 2: It shall be the duty of the Finance Committee to solicit funds, to investigate conditions, and to arrange terms for all loans. Loans shall be made to blind Active Members only. No members of the Finance Committee shall be permitted to borrow money from the Association.

Section 3: It shall be the duty of the Legislative Committee to subject to the Association local, state, and national legislation beneficial to the blind, and to endeavor to secure the enactment thereof.

Article ix

Section 1: There shall be a membership fee of one dollar ($1.00) per year, payable to the Treasurer by the first of July. Any member failing to pay his dues shall be dropped from the roll of the Association and shall not be entitled to the benefits of the Association but may be reinstated by the payment of all arrears.

Article X

Section 1: A quorum shall consist of twenty-five Active Members.

Article XI

Section 1: This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of those present at any regular business meeting; but notice to offer an amendment must be given in writing to the Executive Committee thirty days before such an amendment is to be voted on; except that an amendment may be adopted at any time by unanimous consent.

Article XII

Section 1: "Robert’s Rules of Order" shall be adopted for parliamentary references.


Amendment 1, Article IX

Section 1: There shall be a membership fee of one dollar ($1.00) per year, payable to the Treasurer by the first of July. Any member failing to pay his dues shall be dropped from the roll of the Association and shall not be entitled to the benefits of the Association but may be reinstated by the payment of one dollar ($1.00).

 Amendment 2, Article IV

Section 1: It shall be the duty of the Recording Secretary to act as secretary to all constitutional committees.

Amendment 3, Article III

Section 1: All constitutional officers, with the exception of the Finance Committee, shall be elected for a term of two years.

Section 2: No officer, except the Treasurer, shall be elected for more than two terms except by a three-fourths majority.

Section 3: All Finance Committee members shall be elected for six years.

Amendment 4, Article VII

Section 1: Article VII, Section 3 shall be amended to read: henceforth, the Executive Committee shall be the Board of Directors consisting of the elected constitutional officers and four members elected at large.

Section 2: The members of the Board of Directors elected at large shall be chosen for Positions No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4. Position No. 1 shall be chosen for a term of eight years, Position No. 2 for a term of six years, Position No. 3 for a term of four years, and Position No. 4 for a term of two years.

Section 3: A simple majority of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum.

Section 4: The Board of Directors shall meet quarterly and may be called for a special meeting at any time by the President.

Amendment 5, Article IX

Section 1: There shall be a membership fee of two dollars ($2.00) per year, payable to the Treasurer by the first of July. Any member failing to pay his dues shall be dropped from the roll of the Association and shall not be entitled to the benefits of the Association, but may be reinstated by the payment of two dollars ($2.00).

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