Museum exhibit celebrates 25 years of Sparky license plates

Sparky's Plate Patrol 2013

The ASU Alumni Association is celebrating 25 years of the ASU collegiate "Sparky" license plate program with the installation of an exhibit at the Tempe History Museum. The exhibit will debut during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the museum on April 17.

The ASU collegiate license plate program was created when Arizona Gov. Rose Mofford signed legislation in June 1988 creating a collegiate license plate program for Arizona's three state universities. Sparky license plate sales began in 1989, and since that time, the ASU license plate has served as the main funding source for Medallion Scholars. The ASU Alumni Association then established the Medallion Scholarship Program as its signature scholarship initiative, and incorporated components of leadership, scholarship and service.

“This exhibit at the Tempe History Museum documents the beginnings and progress of ASU’s license plate program, but more importantly, tells the story of this all-important undergraduate scholarship supported by the sales of Sparky license plates,” says Christine K. Wilkinson, president of the ASU Alumni Association. “Over the years, hundreds of ASU alumni have benefited from this scholarship funded by the sales of ASU’s collegiate license plate. Additionally, Sparky license plates demonstrate Sun Devil pride on Arizona’s roadways.”

The Medallion Scholars at ASU participate in a comprehensive four-year scholarship program that involves mentoring, community service and academic achievement. Medallion Scholars receive four-year, renewable scholarships of $3,000 annually. In return, they participate in a mentorship program, contribute volunteer hours to the Alumni Association, maintain a satisfactory grade point average and remain in good standing as an ASU undergraduate.

The exhibit highlights key moments in the Sparky license plate program and the program’s growth over the years.

Currently, more than 15,000 Arizona vehicles feature the ASU collegiate plates, and during the most recent academic year, Medallion scholars collectively received more than $300,000 in assistance from the program.

For more information on the Sparky license plate program, visit