Eastern Arizona College

Last updated
Eastern Arizona College
Eastern Arizona Logo.jpg
Other name
MottoLet the adventure begin at EAC.
Type Community College
Established 1888
President Todd Haynie
Students 6,423 (Fall 2016) [1]
Location Thatcher , Arizona , USA
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
Mascot Gila 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.

Community college type of educational institution

A community college is a type of educational institution. The term can have different meanings in different countries: many community colleges have an “open enrollment” for students who have graduated from high school. The term usually refers to a higher educational institution that provides workforce education and college transfer academic programs. Some institutions maintain athletic teams and dormitories similar to their university counterparts.

Graham County, Arizona County in the United States

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.

Arizona state of the United States of America

Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.



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.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints nontrinitarian Christian restorationist church

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian, Christian restorationist church that is considered by its members to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States, and has established congregations and built temples worldwide. According to the church, it has over 16 million members and 67,000 full-time volunteer missionaries. In 2012, the National Council of Churches ranked the church as the fourth-largest Christian denomination in the United States, with over 6.5 million members reported by the church, as of January 2018. It is the largest denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith during the period of religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening.

Central, Arizona Census-designated place in Arizona, United States

Central is a census-designated place in Graham County, Arizona, United States. Its population was 645 as of the 2010 census. It is part of the Safford micropolitan area.

Thatcher, Arizona Town in Arizona, United States

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.

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.

Arizona State University Public university located in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Arizona, United States

Arizona State University is a public metropolitan research university on five campuses across the Phoenix metropolitan area, and four regional learning centers throughout Arizona.


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]

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.

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:


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

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. Meece, Britney; Dugan, Lori (June 20, 2013), "Celebrate EAC's 125th Anniversary and Gila Hank", News and Events: News Release, Eastern Arizona College