About Us – History
The Arkansas Academy of Computing was founded by the Computer Science and Computer Engineering (CSCE) Department at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville to recognize individuals and alumni who have impacted the computing industry and computing discipline in the State of Arkansas. Dr. Bob Crisp, a CSCE professor and George Knight, a career IBM executive from northwest Arkansas, knew many of the people who made major contributions in the field of computing. The industry pioneers include Bob Oliver, Walter Smiley, Charles Morgan, and on the academic side, Connell Brown, James E. Scroggs and Charles Blackstock.
The initial list of possible inductees included 70+ names. Dr. Crisp and Mr. Knight made the contacts, obtained the commitments, and planned the charter inauguration. Dr. Yeargan, CSCE Department Head, was the Master of Ceremonies for what turned out to be an enthusiastic and exciting initial meeting in April 2006. Fifty-eight people were initiated in the “charter class”, by-laws were adopted, and George Knight agreed to be the first President, with Bob Crisp serving as Secretary-Treasurer. Certainly a huge debt of gratitude should go to all of these founders, particularly Dr. Jerry Yeargan for buying into the idea, selling the concept to the Dean of Engineering, and then supplying the funding to kick things off.