A dedication was held Friday, May 16, for the sign in front of the Overstreet Hall. The sign was funded by the family of Patricia Baker Ribble, who graduated from Southern Arkansas University, then Southern State College, in 1956, and was the homecoming queen that very year.
The unveiling of the plaque was made by the Ribble grandchildren; Sarah and Conner, children of Alan and Kerry Ribble of Texarkana; and Parker, son of Barry and Kelly Ribble of Magnolia.
SAU President Dr. Rankin complimented the beauty and size of the sign, and said it certainly did the University more justice than the sign formerly in front of Overstreet Hall.
“We finally have a sign worthy of the University. This is built so that as you come up the hill on Jackson Street you can see the sign,” Rankin said. “I know Pat would be proud of this in her memory.”
Further remarks about Patricia Baker Ribble were made by Dr. David Ashby, a professor in the accounting, finance and economics. Ashby said that he found out from a family member that Ribble was the very definition of Southern lady and described her as someone that “bloomed where she was planted” in Magnolia. Ashby also discovered that Ribble’s favorite flowers were red roses and, ironically, that was what Pat King of the Physical Plant had already planted in front of the sign.
“Isn’t it funny how things just work out,” Ashby said.
Ribble, who was also known for her laughter, her love of the piano and the organ, was the daughter of Milburn and Marie Baker. Her father and brother, Dayton Baker, ran the Magnolia Barber Shop.