From left: Asa Hutchinson, elected in 2014 as the 46th Governor of Arkansas; and Asa Hutchinson, tenth-grader at Springdale High School in 1966.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson shares stories from his high school and college days — and how he made his dreams a reality!

What was your childhood like?
I was born and raised on a farm in Gravette, Arkansas. It’s a small town, and it really represents the best of Arkansas. My childhood had a strong sense of community, family and church.

What was school like for you?
I went to high school in Springdale, where I enjoyed studying history, playing football and playing the trumpet.

Were you a good student?
Yes, I was a good student. However, the best academic achievement I received was for making the most progress academically from my first to my third year in law school.

What was the standard in your hometown for going to college?
The opportunity to attend college was a privilege for most people in my hometown, and I didn’t take that privilege lightly.

How did you pay for your higher education?
I worked part time and I relied on student loans.

Why should students consider college?
Students should consider going to college or receiving some form of post-secondary education or technical training in order to have a focused field of study for their future careers. Furthering your education not only provides greater opportunities, but it is also an excellent way to understand more about the world in which we live.

Do you think every student should go to college?
No. Not every student should go to college, but every student should have a post-high school degree or certificate.

Most valuable thing from your college experience:
I learned a great deal about myself, particularly from my time in debate. I discovered how passionate I am to have every side of an issue represented. It was this discovery that led me to pursue the field of law, and eventually, politics.

Did any of the friendships you made in college benefit you later in life?
Yes, many college friends are still my friends today. One of the best things about going to college in Arkansas is the friendships you maintain.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
It varied. I decided to be a lawyer when I was a senior in college.

What advice do you most want to give students?
The path to success is never straight; it has twists, turns, disappointments and triumphs. The best leaders are those who experience setbacks and learn from their mistakes.

Asa Hutchinson (second from right) performs during his senior class play at Springdale High School in 1968.


Fun Facts About Gov. Hutchinson

High School: Springdale High School

Favorite Subject: History

College: Bob Jones University, South Carolina

Major: Accounting

Favorite thing about college: Playing pingpong at the Baptist Student Union

Graduate school: University of Arkansas School of Law, Fayetteville

First job ever: Shoe-shining on Main Street in Gravette

First “real world” job: An attorney for former county judge Jimm Hendren in Bentonville