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Celebrate EAC’s 125th Anniversary and Gila Hank

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Celebrate EAC’s 125th Anniversary and Gila Hank

By Britney Meece and Lori Dugan

Thatcher, AZ—Eastern Arizona College’s mascot, Gila Hank, is only 66-years-old this year, but he will be front-and-center this September as the entire community comes together to celebrate EAC’s 125th anniversary. “Gila Hank is an important part, not only of our 125th celebration, but of campus-life as a whole,” said David Udall, EAC Alumni Center and Foundation director. “He ties us together with the past and with each other. In sports, around campus, and in print.”

Because of his position at the College’s Alumni Center and Foundation, Udall is the keeper of all things Hank and that includes the copyright. He is protective because he knows the story, which he told for this article:

Back in 1947, EAC’s school newspaper was called the “Gila Hoot Owl.” Jerry Stone was the Gila Hoot Owl adviser at the time and he wrote a letter to the “Arizona Republic” cartoonist, Reg Manning, asking if he could draw up a Gila monster logo for the school. The response was the very same, two-gun-toting, 10-gallon Stetson hat and holster wearing Gila monster we still love today.

Many students were pleased to see that the college had adopted a logo. At first, it was used mainly in the Gila Hoot Owl newspaper above particular sports articles, but Hank eventually started making his appearance on athletic uniforms, yearbook covers, homecoming floats, and much more as the years went on. Now you can spot Gila Hank all over the campus representing the school with great pride.

“Gila Hank is just one of many things that have made Eastern Arizona College what it is today,” says Udall. But it’s the little things, like Gila Hank, that build up the great school we are all so proud to celebrate this September.”

Community members planning to take part in the 125th anniversary celebration are reminded that several of the events will require pre-registration, while others will require admission fees, etc. Please call the EAC Foundation at (928)-428-8295, or toll-free at (800)-678-3808, extension 8295 for more information or to register.

Registration forms were also included in the last mailing of the Gila Gram complete with a list of merchandise sporting our very own Gila Hank that are available for purchase.

“We want to give a huge thanks to our corporate sponsors: Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold, McDonalds, Springhill Suites, Sodexo, Graham County Electric Cooperative, National Bank of Arizona, CMI, Sumitomo Metal Mining America, The Station Laundromat, and EA Glass/Row-N-Rock, who have made this celebration possible, and I hope everyone in Graham County, along with alumni from around the world, will be with us in September for Homecoming Weekend on the 13th and 14th. We have scheduled a dinner and gathering, a parade, shows, BBQs, brunches, campus tours, and of course football!”