Academic Signing Day

In May 2007, the El Dorado Education Foundation and El Dorado Public Schools held the first Academic Signing Day for EHS graduates, sponsored by First Financial Bank and others. Similar to a signing ceremony for students attending college on athletic scholarships, Academic Signing Day provides students an opportunity to sign a “letter of intent” to attend college to pursue academic excellence with the El Dorado Promise. Academic Signing Day has been held for each graduating class since the Promise was announced. The event has brought in highly-touted speakers, from former presidents, senators, governors and first ladies, to executive officers of NFL teams, and Fortune 500 companies.

Academic Signing Day Speakers

  • 2007: Claiborne Deming, then President and CEO of Murphy Oil Corporation
  • 2008: Ron Kitchens, then Executive Director of South West Michigan First and Kalamazoo Promise Board Member
  • 2009: Dean Skip Rutherford, then Dean of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service
  • 2010: President George W. Bush
  • 2011: US Senator Mark Pryor
  • 2012: President William J. Clinton
  • 2013: Arkansas Senator Shane Broadway
  • 2014: El Dorado Public Schools Superintendent Bob Watson (now retired)
  • 2015: Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson
  • 2016: Stephen Jones, COO and VP, Dallas Cowboys Football Club Susan Hutchinson, Arkansas First Lady
  • 2017: Savvy Shields, Miss America 2017
  • 2018: Sidney Moncrief, Former Arkansas Razorback All-American, five-time NBA All Star, two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year
  • 2019: T. J. Holmes, ABC News Anchor and Correspondent