Southern Arkansas University‘s sprawling grounds encompass 1418 acres, giving it the distinction of being the largest college campus in Arkansas. Magnolia is located in the Southwestern corner of the state in the Ark-La-Tex region. With its historic architecture, modern facilities, and a diverse array of flora and fauna, the campus serves as a testament to both the university’s commitment to education and the beauty of its natural surroundings. Continue reading as we explore the largest college campus in Arkansas.
Explore the Largest College Campus in Arkansas: Southern Arkansas University at a Glance:
|Name:||Southern Arkansas University|
|Campus Size:||1418 acres|
|Total Student Enrollment:||5,100|
|School Colors:||Royal blue and gold|
|Athletic Conference:||NCAA Division II – Great American Conference|
Magnolia, Arkansas is located in the Ark-La-Tex region. The area around the convergence of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, forms a cultural and geographic crossroads. The Ark-La-Tex boasts a rich heritage shaped by Native American influences and Southern traditions. Founded in 1853, Magnolia flourished as a center of cotton production. With the discovery of oil in 1938, the town transitioned into one of the country’s largest suppliers of oil. The subsequent oil boom propelled Magnolia into a new era of prosperity. Today, oil continues to play a role in Magnolia’s economy. The city touts itself as a great place to raise a family. This is evident in the annual events the town has to offer, including a photography contest, Watching Magnolia Blossom, a Purple Hull Pea Festival, and World Championship Roto Tiller Race.
Explore the Largest College Campus in Arkansas: Perspective
How much space does 1418 acres encompass, and how large is Southern Arkansas University relative to other U.S. college campuses? SAU has an average-to-above-average-sized campus. Though it is not in a class with behemoths like Berry and Sewanee, it is the largest campus in Arkansas. The SAU campus is also larger than New York’s Central Park and Disneyland in Anaheim, California – even when they are added together!
|Berry College, Mt. Berry, (Rome) Gerorgia||27,000|
|U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado||18,455|
|The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee:||13,000|
|Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina:||6,950|
|Texas A&M, College Station, TX||5,200|
|Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama||5,000|
|Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia:||1418|
|Arkansas State University, Jonesboro:||1263|
|University of Maryland, College Park:||1300|
|Central Park, New York City:||843|
|University of Arkansas, Fayetteville:||709|
|Hendrix College, Conway, Arkansas:||175|
|Classic Disneyland, Anaheim, California:||85|
|Disney California Adventure, Anaheim, California:||72|
Explore the Largest College Campus in Arkansas: Campus life
Campus life at Southern Arkansas University brims with youthful enthusiasm and the hum of opportunity. Students focus on academic pursuits, athletic endeavors, and extracurricular activities. From engaging lectures to spirited sporting events, the campus offers a platform for personal growth and exploration. Within a tight-knit community, SAU offers an affordable, quality education that nurtures learning, creativity, and lifelong success.
From animal and plant science to engineering and musical theatre, Southern Arkansas University offers over 100 academic programs of study. Founded in 1909 as an agricultural school, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that SAU offers 7 agricultural degrees:
- Agricultural Business
- Agricultural Education
- Agricultural Associate Degree
- Agricultural Animal Science
- Agricultural Plant Science
- Agricultural Poultry Science
- Agricultural Pre-Veterinary
However, SAU offers many other undergraduate degree options plus post-graduate degrees in business, education, and computer and information science, among others. SAU also awards certificates in various fields like Cyber Security and Privacy and Data Analytics. Regardless of the course of study, SAU prepares its students for success outside of the classroom.
The school’s nickname, Muleriders, has an interesting origin. In the early days, mules played an important role in local agriculture, particularly in farming and logging operations. Mules were used as work animals, helping to plow fields, haul logs, and perform other essential tasks. The story goes that in those early days, football players would ride mules to the train that they rode to their away games. This led to the nickname Muleriders for the university’s athletic teams. The name pays homage to the integral role mules played in the development and economy of the region. It also makes for a singularly unique team name.
The Muleriders participate in the NCAA Division II – Great American Conference. Their colors are royal blue and gold. SAU fields 16 varsity teams across 10 sports. Mulerider teams have earned 25 conference titles, appeared in 11 NCAA tournaments, and 3 NAIA World Series. Most recently, the Lady Muleriders softball team clinched conference titles in 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2019. SAU men have brought home conference championships in tennis (2019), track and field (2018), and baseball, 2017 and 2018.
Student life at Southern Arkansas University offers clubs, organizations, and activities catering to student interests. These groups provide students with opportunities to connect with peers, develop leadership skills, and enhance their college experience. From anime to bass fishing and GSA to robotics, SAU has something for everyone. Disc golf, trap shooting, chamber singers, and cricket club are but a few of the 100+ clubs and organizations at SAU.
Among the notable events contributing to SAU’s campus culture is the annual Bed Race. This quirky event involves teams constructing beds on wheels and racing them through a designated course. It’s a fun and spirited competition that brings together creativity, teamwork, and friendly rivalry. Bed Races provide an opportunity for students to showcase their engineering skills and sense of humor while bonding with fellow students. SAU also has fraternities and sororities on campus. These Greek organizations provide students with opportunities for leadership, community service, social engagement, and personal growth.
Explore the Largest College Campus in Arkansas: Wildlife
A significant portion of the Southern Arkansas University campus is dedicated forest land. The forested section provides opportunities for research, environmental education, and outdoor recreation while providing a home for area wildlife. So while you’re likely to view a squirrel or a few songbirds on campus, the woods are alive with white-tail deer, bobcats, rabbits, raccoons, and opossums.
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