Eastern Arizona College

Eastern Arizona College (EAC), is a community college in Graham County, Arizona. The main campus is in Thatcher, with satellite locations in Gila County, and Greenlee County. It is the oldest community college in Arizona and the only community college in Arizona with a marching band.

Eastern Arizona College
Eastern Arizona Logo
Other name
MottoLet the adventure begin at EAC.
TypeCommunity College
PresidentTodd Haynie
Students6,423 (Fall 2016) [1]
Location, ,
32°50′31″N 109°45′43″W / 32.8419°N 109.762°W
ColorsPurple & Gold
NicknameGila Monsters
MascotGila Hank


Eastern Arizona College was chartered by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1888. Classes started in a church room in Central, Arizona in 1890 with 17 students and was called the St. Joseph Stake Academy. In 1891, classes were moved to Thatcher, Arizona, to be more centralized and due to room constraints. The school continued to expand, though it was strapped financially. In 1908, a new 21-room building was opened that would eventually be called Old Main.

In 1932, the Church stated they could no longer afford to support the college financially and would close it unless the local valley could support it. In 1933, the residents of Graham County passed an initiative funding the school. The state of Arizona took over the school, changing the name to Gila Junior College of Graham County. This name was changed to Eastern Arizona Junior College in 1950, then simply Eastern Arizona College in 1966. In 1962, it was the inaugural member of Arizona's newly created Junior College system.[2] The 1960s was a time of growth and the college purchased nearby farmland to extend their campus.

In 1972 a fine arts center was completed. In 1979, two fires within one week destroyed Old Main. The building was razed and a new administration building was constructed on the site. During the 1987–1988 school year, Eastern Arizona College celebrated its centennial.

Eastern Arizona College has changed names nine times, growing from a one-room school house to becoming a large community college serving three counties and hosting a satellite campus for a university.[3]

In December 2012, after 10 years of lobbying, Eastern Arizona College launched its first bachelor's degree programs in a partnership with Arizona State University.[4] The bachelor's degree programs include nursing and business.


EAC is a state-sponsored community college and comes under the guidance and control of the state of Arizona.


The main campus 32°50′31″N 109°45′43″W / 32.8419°N 109.7620°WCoordinates: 32°50′31″N 109°45′43″W / 32.8419°N 109.7620°W[5] sits in the center of the Upper Gila River Valley with Mt. Graham towering to the south and the Gila River to the north. The buildings on the campus are plain, while the grass, trees, and flower beds on EAC's campus are impeccably maintained year-round.[6]

On September 15, 2007, Eastern Arizona College dedicated their Bell Tower. The tower is adjacent to the administration building, between the north and south campuses.[7]


Eastern Arizona College provides dormitories for single students. EAC has the following houses:

  • Mark Allen
  • Wesley Taylor
  • Nellie Lee
  • Residence towers (three towers)

Married student housing is not available on-campus. Most married couples are able to find off-campus apartments.

In addition to on-campus housing, there are many off-campus places available for rent. EAC has a housing office with information for on- and off-campus living.[8]


Eastern Arizona College is divided into nine academic divisions:

  • Business[9]
  • Communicative Arts[10]
  • Fine Arts[11]
  • Health and Physical Education[12]
  • Industrial Technology Education[13]
  • Liberal Studies[14]
  • Mathematics[15]
  • Science and Allied Health[16]
  • Social Sciences[17]


The College's mascot is "Gila Hank," a Gila monster, indigenous to the region.[18]

Notable alumni


  1. ^ "Fall Enrollment". Eastern Arizona College. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Brief EAC History". Fact Book. Eastern Arizona College. Retrieved 2015-03-24.
  3. ^ "History of EAC Facilities". eac.edu. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  4. ^ Sarah Pavlus (December 11, 2012). "Eastern Arizona College Launches Bachelor's Degree Programs After Decade-Long Fight". Huffington Post. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  6. ^ Thatcher, Arizona
  7. ^ "News Releases Details". eac.edu. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Housing". eac.edu. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  9. ^ "Business Division". eac.edu. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Communicative Arts Division". eac.edu. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  11. ^ "Fine Arts Division". eac.edu. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  12. ^ "Health and Physical Education Division". eac.edu. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  13. ^ "Industrial Technology Education Division". eac.edu. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  14. ^ "Liberal Studies Division". eac.edu. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  15. ^ "Mathematics Division". eac.edu. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  16. ^ "Science and Allied Health Division". eac.edu. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  17. ^ "Social Science Division". eac.edu. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  18. ^ Meece, Britney; Dugan, Lori (June 20, 2013), "Celebrate EAC's 125th Anniversary and Gila Hank", News and Events: News Release, Eastern Arizona College

External links

Adarius Taylor

Adarius Taylor (born Adarius Glanton on September 21, 1990) is an American football linebacker for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL). He first enrolled at Eastern Arizona College before transferring to Florida Atlantic University. He attended Lake Gibson High School in Lakeland, Florida. He has also been a member of the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Christo Bilukidi

Christo Bilukidi (born December 13, 1989) is an Angolan-born professional football defensive end who is a free agent. He played collegiate football at Eastern Arizona College before transferring to Georgia State University where he was a two-year starter for the Panthers.

Del M. Clawson

Delwin Morgan Clawson (January 11, 1914 – May 5, 1992) was an American politician. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives He also served as mayor of Compton, California.

Clawson was born in Thatcher, Arizona and attended Gila College there 1933–1934. He was manager of the Mutual Housing Association of Compton, 1947–1963.

Clawson was elected as a member of the City Council of Compton and served 1953–1957. He then served as mayor of Compton, California 1957–1963. After the death of Clyde Doyle, he was elected as a Republican to the 88th Congress, by special election. He was reelected to the seven succeeding Congresses and served until his retirement at the end of his last term on December 31, 1978.

Ed Linta

Edward Linta (born 1932) is a former American football coach. He was the 28th head football coach at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, serving for two seasons, from 1965 to 1966, and compiling a record of 4–13–1. Linta played college football as an end at Kansas State University from 1952 to 1954. before coming to Washburn as an assistant in 1964, he was the head football coach at Eastern Arizona Junior College—now known as Eastern Arizona College—in 1963 and was an assistant football coach at the University of Arizona from 1959 to 1961 and the University of Wyoming in 1962.

Frank R. Zapata

Frank Ramirez Zapata (born July 1, 1944) is a Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.

Gila Community College

Gila Community College (GCC) is the community college serving the Gila Community College District in Gila County, Arizona. It has three campuses:

Gila Pueblo Campus, Globe, Arizona

Payson Campus, Payson, Arizona

San Carlos Campus, San Carlos, ArizonaGCC currently has the status of a "provisional college". It operates under an accreditation contract with Eastern Arizona College, the community college of neighboring Graham County, Arizona. It is currently beginning efforts to become an independent, accredited community college in its own right.

Graham County, Arizona

Graham County is a county located in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2010 census, the population was 37,220, making it the third-least populous county in Arizona. The county seat is Safford.Graham County composes the Safford, Arizona Micropolitan Statistical Area.

The county is home to several organizations including Eastern Arizona College and the Mount Graham International Observatory, which includes one of the world's largest and most powerful telescopes. Graham County is also home to the Arizona Salsa Trail and the annual Salsa Fest.Graham County contains part of the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation.

H. Verlan Andersen

Hans Verlan Andersen (November 6, 1914 – July 16, 1992) was a general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and a professor at Brigham Young University (BYU).

Andersen was called to the LDS Church's First Quorum of the Seventy in April 1986. On April 1, 1989 he was transferred to the newly created Second Quorum of the Seventy. On October 5, 1991, he was released from his service as a general authority. He died of cancer on July 16, 1992.

Henry Eyring (chemist)

Henry Eyring (February 20, 1901 – December 26, 1981) was a Mexican-born American theoretical chemist whose primary contribution was in the study of chemical reaction rates and intermediates.

James Tolkan

James Stewart Tolkan (born June 20, 1931) is an American actor, known for his work in films such as Serpico, Top Gun and the Back to the Future franchise.

Jeremy Nelson

Jeremy Nelson is an American visual effects artist. He won a Visual Effects Society award in 2011 for best compositing for his work on the HBO mini-series, The Pacific.Nelson was born in Thatcher, Arizona and attended Thatcher High School and Eastern Arizona College. He has also worked on the motion pictures The Guardian, Clash of the Titans, The Day the Earth Stood Still and Spy and on the television shows Grimm and Bosch as well as several others.


KATO (1230 AM) is a radio station broadcasting a News Talk Information format. Licensed to Safford, Arizona, United States, the station is currently owned by McMurray Communications, Inc., and features programming from ABC Radio and ESPN Radio.KATO-AM carries local high school sports and Eastern Arizona College football and basketball. The "voice" of Gila Valley sports is Lee Patterson, who has been on the mic at KATO since 2000.

Mike James (basketball, born 1990)

Michael Perry James (born August 18, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for Olimpia Milano of the Italian Lega Basket Serie A (LBA) and the EuroLeague. He was a high school basketball standout playing for Grant High School in Portland, and played college basketball for Eastern Arizona College and Lamar University. He's also best known for being the first player in NBA history to go from a two-way contract to a regular contract, all while never being sent down to the NBA G League in the process.

Nick Nolte

Nicholas King Nolte (born February 8, 1941) is an American actor, producer, author, and former model. He won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for the 1991 film The Prince of Tides. He went on to receive Academy Award nominations for Affliction (1998) and Warrior (2011). His other film appearances include The Deep (1977), Who'll Stop The Rain (1978), North Dallas Forty (1979), 48 Hrs. (1982), Teachers (1984), Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Another 48 Hrs. (1990), Everybody Wins (1990), Cape Fear (1991), Lorenzo's Oil (1992), The Thin Red Line (1998), The Good Thief (2002), Hulk (2003), Hotel Rwanda (2004), Tropic Thunder (2008), and A Walk in the Woods (2015). He was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy for his role in the TV series Graves.

Spencer J. Palmer

Spencer John Palmer (October 4, 1927 – November 27, 2000) was a chronicler of the development of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in Asia as well as a major player in these developments. He was a historian of Korea, a scholar of comparative world religions, and wrote many books on these and related topics.

Spencer W. Kimball

Spencer Woolley Kimball (March 28, 1895 – November 5, 1985) was an American business, civic, and religious leader, and was the 12th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), from 1973 to 1985. Grandson of the LDS apostle Heber C. Kimball, Spencer was born in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory. He spent most of his early life in Thatcher, Arizona, where his father, Andrew Kimball, farmed and served as the area's stake president.

From 1914-1916, he served an LDS mission (see below), then worked for various banks in Arizona's Gila Valley as a clerk and bank teller. Kimball later co-founded a business, selling bonds and insurance that, after weathering the Great Depression, became highly successful. He served as a stake president in his hometown from 1938-1943, when he was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Like most other church apostles, Kimball traveled extensively to fill a variety of administrative and ecclesiastical duties. Early in his time as an apostle, Kimball was directed by church president George Albert Smith to spend extra time in religious and humanitarian work with Native Americans, which Kimball did throughout his life. He initiated the Indian Placement Program, which helped many Native American students gain education in the 1960s and 1970s while they stayed with LDS foster families.

In late 1973, following the sudden death of church president Harold B. Lee, Kimball became the twelfth president of the LDS Church, a position he held until his death in 1985. Kimball's presidency was noted for the 1978 revelation ending the restriction on church members of black African descent being ordained to the priesthood or receiving temple ordinances.

Kimball's presidency saw large growth in the LDS Church, both in terms of membership and the number of temples. Kimball was the first church president to state publicly that the church expects all able-bodied male members to serve missions in young adulthood, resulting in an increase in missionary service.

Thatcher, Arizona

Thatcher is a town in Graham County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the town is 4,865. It is part of the Safford Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Thatcher is the home of Eastern Arizona College (EAC), a college that offers two year degrees and includes a nursing school.

Thomas Cobb (author)

Thomas Cobb is an American novelist and author of the 1987 novel Crazy Heart which was adapted into the 2010 Academy Award winning 2009 film Crazy Heart.

William Konopnicki

William "Bill" Konopnicki (April 7, 1945-October 17, 2012) was an Arizona politician. He and his wife were also the owners of radio station KTHQ as well as several others. Konopnicki was a Republican.

Konopnicki was born in Michigan and moved with his parents to Yuma, Arizona when he was five. He studied at Arizona Western College and Arizona State University. He later received a doctors degree in education from the University of Arizona. Konopnicki worked as a school teacher before he became a businessman. He ran various radio stations and also owned several McDonald's restaurants. He was also on the faculty of Eastern Arizona College for a time.

Konopnicki is a Latter-day Saint. Among other positions in the LDS Church he served as a bishop and a stake president.

Konopnicki was a member of the Arizona State House beginning in 2002 to 2010. He opposed efforts to have Arizona engage in enforcing federal immigration laws.

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