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Courtways move out of UCA President’s Home

May 10, 2015 at 12:00 a.m.

CONWAY — University of Central Arkansas President Tom Courtway and his wife, Melissa, have moved out of the President’s Home and are renting a home in Conway, he said Thursday.

Courtway said the couple moved Monday into a home in the Hudson Cove subdivision of the Centennial Valley neighborhood in west Conway.

“My wife and I just want a little more privacy, No. 1, and No. 2, I think by doing this it will open the [UCA] house up to many more events,” he said.

Courtway and his wife have lived in the home since March 2012. He has been president since December 2011, at which time he was serving as interim president.

“We lived there three years and really had a great time. It’s a very good house,” Courtway said. He reiterated the possibility for more extensive use of the home without the couple living there. “It’s a wonderful place,” he said.

“Certainly, I understand the fish bowl I live in every day of my life,” Courtway said, adding that he had prepared a statement about the move in anticipation of questions. He said the River Valley & Ozark Edition was the only inquiry about the move he’d had as of Thursday.

His statement, signed March 18, is as follows: “In March 2012 during spring break, Melissa and I moved into the President’s Home. Since that time, we have enjoyed making it our home for our family and, more importantly, hosting many campus and community events. Sometime after the first of May, we intend to move into a private residence in Conway we have rented. This new location will afford us some additional privacy. And, our move to another home will also benefit the university by providing another venue for campus and community events.

“The President’s Home is a historic structure. For over 70 years, the home and grounds have been maintained in excellent condition by the hard work of the UCA Physical Plant. Melissa and I wish to express our sincere thanks to the men and women of the UCA Physical Plant for their extraordinary work, dedication, professionalism and friendship during the time we have lived in the President’s Home. We would also like to thank personnel from Aramark for their work and courtesies extended to us throughout this period, and also to those persons who have served or are now serving on the President’s Residence Advisory Committee.”

The home was built in 1937 and has been renovated several times. UCA archivist Jimmy Bryant said former UCA President Winfred L. Thompson moved out of the home on one occasion when it was undergoing an extensive renovation.

Diane Newton, vice president for finance and administration, said former UCA President Allen Meadors and his wife lived in one of the UCA guest houses for a period of time because of work being done on the President’s Home, as well. Courtway became interim president when Meadors resigned.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

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