Eastern Arizona College

Last updated
Eastern Arizona College
Eastern Arizona Logo.jpg
Other name
MottoLet the adventure begin at EAC.
Type Community College
President Todd Haynie
Students6,423 (Fall 2016) [1]
Location, ,

32°50′31″N109°45′43″W / 32.8419°N 109.762°W / 32.8419; -109.762
Campus Rural
Colors Purple & Gold
Nickname Gila Monsters
MascotGila Hank
Website http://www.eac.edu

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 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″N109°45′43″W / 32.8419°N 109.7620°W / 32.8419; -109.7620 Coordinates: 32°50′31″N109°45′43″W / 32.8419°N 109.7620°W / 32.8419; -109.7620 [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:

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:


Eastern Arizona College is the home of the Mills Collection, the life-work of avocational archaeologists Jack and Vera Mills. The Mills conducted extensive excavations on archaeological sites in Southeastern Arizona and Western New Mexico from the 1940s through the 1970s. They restored numerous pottery vessels and amassed more than 600 whole and restored pots, as well as over 5,000 other artifacts. Most of their work was carried out on private land in southeastern Arizona and western New Mexico. They donated their collection of some 600 whole vessels to EAC, on condition that their collection be placed on permanent public display. [18]


The College's mascot is "Gila Hank," a Gila monster, indigenous to the region. [19]

Notable alumni

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  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. The Mills Collection at Eastern Arizona College. Accessed 5/12/2020
  19. Meece, Britney; Dugan, Lori (June 20, 2013), "Celebrate EAC's 125th Anniversary and Gila Hank", News and Events: News Release, Eastern Arizona College