Welcome Back Home, Williamson

Williamson Hall Rededication

PHOTO | Melanie Paterak

The rededication ceremony of Williamson Hall took place March 3 at 2 p.m. In attendance were students, staff members, alumni and distinguished guests.

 Vice President for Advancement, Jason Geiken served as the Master of Ceremonies and offered an official welcome at the start of the ceremony. Following Geiken was Interim Vice President, A.J. Anglin in the place of Robin Bowen. 

Anglin spoke of the love for Williamson Hall remaining in the hearts of many after the tragic fire that destroyed the building in April 2019.  

Introduced by Anglin was Leanah Hampton, the granddaughter of Marvin Williamson, the man in whom the Hall owes its namesake. 

“I can’t help but cry,” Hampton said as she looked upon the restored Williamson.

Hampton recalls the cherished memories in Williamson hall. “When I was young, I would come here with my grandfather. We would go sit in the radio station and watch the records spin.”

Hampton later would attend and graduate from ATU.  

Following Anglin was remarks from Dr. Judy Cezeaux, the Dean of the college of engineering and applied sciences. Parks, Recreation and Hospitality Administration Program Director, Dr. Cathi McMahan also spoke. 

Both Cezeaux and McMahan spoke of the journey leading up to the final move back to Williamson Hall on December 6, 2021, and their love for those who offered support along the way.

“Welcome home to Williamson,” McMahan said at the closing of her speech.

The Keynote Speaker of the ceremony was Arkansas State Auditor, The Honorable Andrea Lea, who spoke of her journey as a nontraditional student at ATU in the 2000’s and of her history at ATU. Lea was inducted into Tech’s Hall of Distinction on Feb 3, 2022 under the Distinguished Alumni Service category. while serving her second term as Arkansas State Auditor. 

Lea closed her speech with “May God bless this building and all who use it. May their lives lead to the service of others for the wellbeing of all.”