Crowley’s Ridge College opened its doors on July 6, 1964, as a Christian junior college in Paragould, Arkansas, near the crest of Crowley’s Ridge. The scenic campus covers 150 acres of rolling hills densely populated by pine and hardwood trees. While the college is affiliated with the Churches of Christ, students of all religious backgrounds are welcome at Crowley’s Ridge College.
CRC’s founder, Dr. Emmett Floyd Smith Jr. (honoris causa), had a strong desire to bring college-level Christian education to northeast Arkansas. Eleven years earlier, in 1953, Smith had established a Christian secondary school, Crowley’s Ridge Academy, and found that there was support for other Christian endeavors such as the Children’s Homes of Paragould and Crowley’s Ridge College. Governor Orval Faubus helped turn the first shovel of dirt on January 29, 1964, at CRC’s groundbreaking ceremony to begin construction of the campus.
Seven presidents have served Crowley’s Ridge College: Emmett Smith, 1964-1973; Albert Lemmons, 1973-1975; Joe K. Alley, 1979-1982; Larry M. Bills, 1987-2001; Arvil Hill, 2001-2002, and Ken Hoppe, 2003 – 2019.
Dr. Richard Johnson began his service as President on January 1, 2020.
Dr. Emmett Floyd Smith Jr.
Founder of Crowley’s Ridge College