Bob Crafton, P.E.
Crafton Tull (retired)
Bob Crafton grew up on a farm in Corning, Arkansas, the youngest of fourteen children. When one of his older brothers offered to loan him the money to attend college, he jumped at the chance and majored in civil engineering, because his favorite high school teacher suggested it. After spending two years at Arkansas Tech, Crafton transferred to the U of A, where he met Lem Tull. Crafton and Tull graduated and parted ways, both going to work for the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, but in different areas. One day, the two ran into each other and Tull asked Crafton if he could work for him. After working together for a while, the two men decided to open their own business. They opened Crafton Tull in Rogers in 1963.
Crafton Tull secured its place in the Arkansas landscape quickly, taking on several contracts for the highway department and embarking on a huge development project in the Beaver Lake area. For this project, the company purchased an IBM mainframe computer—the only one in the state at the time. Over time, Crafton Tull expanded its services, offering architecture, landscape architecture, interior design and surveying. The company currently has offices in Rogers, Fayetteville, Tulsa, Conway, Little Rock, Oklahoma City and Russellville. Its portfolio is broad, including projects at Hendrix College, the U of A, the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Tulsa Zoo, the Pulaski County Trail System, the historic Coleman Theatre, and many more.
For its 50th anniversary in 2013, Crafton Tull committed to 50 acts of kindness in the communities it serves. Crafton Tull employees gave blood, donated to food banks, planted trees, cleaned up highways and streams and participated in many other activities that supported local communities and community organizations. Crafton retired in 2000, and stays involved with his community. He has served as a member of the Rogers School Board, the Rogers Chamber of Commerce, the Rogers Airport Commission, the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission and the Board of Trustees of Northwest Arkansas Community College. He is currently a member of the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Good Roads Transportation Council. Crafton is a founding member of the Arkansas Academy of Civil Engineering, and he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Engineering in 2007. His son, Matt, is the current president and CEO of the company.