August 14, 2013
The Southern Arkansas University Foundation Board of Governors held their annual retreat on the SAU Campus during Friday and Saturday, August 2 and 3, 2013.
During the retreat, the Board of Governors welcomed new members Jan Story ’85 of Magnolia, AR and Lance Larey ’61 of Tulsa, OK.
The Board also elected the slate of officers for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. Serving as officers are Jerry Mayfield ’70 of Houston, TX – President, Ricky Hughes, DVM ’83 of Donaldson, AR – Vice President, Roise Matlock-Muldrew ’85 of Sherwood, AR – Secretary, and Joe Pieratt ’92 of Magnolia, AR – Treasurer.
The Board of Governors also recognized Debbie Arnold ‘ 85 of Magnolia, AR for her service as President during the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
Click Here to view a slide show from the retreat.
May 22, 2013
Southern Arkansas University Professor of History Dr. Ben Johnson has been selected to receive the first endowed professorship in Arkansas studies.
The John G. Ragsdale, Jr. and Dora J. Ragsdale Endowed Professorship at SAU was established by a couple who is known for their generosity and support of Arkansas history and will benefit a professor who has spent decades himself researching and writing about the Natural State.
Dr. Johnson has seen something of a renaissance in the development of documenting Arkansas’ history, and he himself has authored three books toward the cause and served in leadership positions on state historical associations. Yet he still yearns to continue to advance the history of this state and is thankful to the Ragsdales for their contribution and inspiration.
“John and Dora Ragsdale have for many years graciously and tirelessly supported those who study and write Arkansas history,” said Johnson. “It is more than fitting that they would make possible the state’s first endowed professorship in Arkansas studies. SAU benefits greatly from their generosity, and I am extremely honored to be selected as the Ragsdale Professor.”
Funds from the professorship will allow Johnson to continue to update and revise his book initially published in 2000, Arkansas in Modern America: 1930-1999. He calls this financial support “critical” as he tries to figure out Arkansas history, particularly recent events. His research includes traveling throughout the state and region to visit various archives; work that he says was not being done when he “crossed the Red River in 1979.”
Johnson, a native of West Texas, remembers growing up where there was “an exaggerated importance of that state’s history.” He said he was shocked when he moved to Arkansas and it seemed as though this state’s history did not seem to be valued. According to Johnson, he had trouble finding books on Arkansas history, which made learning about the past here difficult. But that only intrigued him, and he saw it as an opportunity.
“It was an open frontier,” said Johnson. “A historian could run far and wide, following any lead, and he or she would not risk running into work done by anyone before.”
Johnson said that the value of Arkansas history has increased dramatically in the past 30 years. He credits this turnaround to many things, such as the University of Arkansas Press including in its mission in the 1980s to publish books on Arkansas history, the creation of the online Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture, and advocates like the Ragsdale family.
Dr. Trey Berry, SAU vice president for academic affairs, shares Johnson’s sentiments about the Ragsdales, which is what gave him the idea to approach the couple about this unprecedented professorship.
“The Ragsdales have long been supporters of academic scholarship in the study of Arkansas history and of the professors and organizations who promote Arkansas history,” said Berry. “Because of their love and support of Arkansas history and because they are natives of south Arkansas, it seemed fitting that this professorship be located in this part of our state.”
John G. Ragsdale spent more than 45 years in the oil business, primarily in southwest Arkansas. His professional and civic engagement activities are extensive, but include having roles on the Arkansas Historical Association Board of Trustees, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Arkansas Historical Association, Arkansas Nature Conservancy and the Arkansas Archeological Society. In 2010, he and his wife, Dora, received the Arkansas Historical Association Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also authored many works relating to Arkansas history, Dutch oven cooking, and petroleum, among other topics.
Johnson earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Arkansas, and has taught in higher education for more than 33 years. He served as Dean of the College of Liberal and Performing Arts at SAU from 2007 to 2011 and was promoted to professor of history in 2010. In addition to the book he authored in 2000, he has written two additional books on Arkansas history. He is currently the vice-chair of the State Review Board of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program and has served as vice president of the Arkansas Historical Association. He is also on the board of editors of the Arkansas Historic Quarterly. He and his wife, Sherrel Johnson, reside in El Dorado, Ark.
April 22, 2013
The 3rd Annual Rip Powell Invitational Golf Tournament raised over $21,000 to benefit facility enhancements for the Mulerider football program and to honor Coach Rip Powell in the campaign to name the football field in his honor.
This year’s tournament was held on Friday, April 12 at the Magnolia Country Club and featured over 36 teams of four.
Thank you to this year’s Rip Powell Invitational Gold and Blue sponsors!
Gold Sponsors: Mustard Seed Financial and Arkansas Blue Cross/Blue Shield
Blue Sponsors: Murphy Oil Corporation, Reliance Well Service, Clark Contractors, Carter Federal Credit Union, TME, INC, BancorpSouth, Development Consultants, and Dowedy Anderson & Associates
Click Here to see pictures from this year’s tournament.
April 24, 2012
A campaign to name the large lecture hall in the Agriculture Center
for Orval Childs, an icon who devoted his life to agriculture students at SAU.
Connecting with the past to benefit the future
Your investment of $5,000, which may be paid over three years, will be placed towards the effort to name the large lecture hall in the new Agriculture Center in honor of Orval Childs. The total amount of your contribution will be placed towards equipping the new facility with the most advanced technology and resources to educate the next generation of leaders in agriculture.
CLICK HERE to be a part of the campaign to name the large lecture hall in honor of Orval Childs.
By investing in this facility, you will be investing in Southern Arkansas University, the community, and the region, as we prepare to feed and clothe the world in the 21st Century.
Thank you to the following alumni and friends who are participating in this campaign.
Mr. and Mrs. Alan Bailey
Mrs. Holly Childs
Dr. B.C. Dodson
Mr. and Mrs. Frankie Duckett
Mr. and Mrs. Ronnie Duckett
The Fullenwider Family
Mr. and Mrs. Gary Golden
Mr. and Mrs. Gary Hines
Dr. and Mrs. Corbet Lamkin
Senator and Mrs. Bruce Maloch
Elwin and Peggy Maloch
Mr. and Mrs. Doss Walker
April 24, 2012
The 2nd Annual Rip Powell Invitational held at the Magnolia Country Club on Friday, April 13th featured 28 teams of four, 8 major sponsors, and 18 hole and tee box sponsors. This year’s tournament raised over $17,000 towards the effort of naming the field for legendary coach Rip Powell.
The morning flight featured 18 teams with the Gold and Blue Flight Champions being named during the lunch awards ceremony.
The afternoon flight consisted of 10 teams with the Red-Shirt Flight Champions being named during the afternoon awards ceremony.
CLICK HERE to view more pictures from the 2nd Annual Rip Powell Invitational.
Thank you to the participants and the many sponsors who made this year’s tournament such a great success.
March 6, 2012
Friends and family gathered on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 for the dedication of the Ribble Strength Training Center. The naming of this facility, which was a complete surprise to all who attended the dedication ceremony, was in honor of Ronnie Ribble by the Alan Ribble Family and the Barry Ribble Family.
Ronnie Lee Ribble was born January 26, 1936 in Ellis County, Texas. He grew up on Eudora, Arkansas, until receiving a scholarship and traveling to Southern State College in 1954 to play football for Coach Auburn Smith. During his senior year, he received the team’s Sportsmanship Award. In 1957, he married the SSC Homecoming Queen, Patricia Baker. Ribble graduated in 1958 and lived 30 plus years in Magnolia working for Southern Extrusions and it’s successors. He was involved in various civic organizations, including serving as past President of the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce and a long-time member of the Magnolia Rotary Club.
Ronnie currently lives in Hot Springs with his wife, Camille. He has always been a great supporter of SAU with his presence at various events and financially with scholarships. He currently is serving on the SAU Board of Trustees.
January 12, 2012
For more information and a detailed itinerary of this trip, please click the link below.
Deadline for deposit to guarantee reservations is February 24, 2012. After that date, seating will be available first come, first served.
November 30, 2011
On Friday, November 4, 2011, Southern Arkansas University Foundation recognized annual and lifetime donors of the 2010-2011 fiscal year and celebrated completed endowments at a dinner in the Grand Hall of the Donald W. Reynolds Campus and Community Center. This year’s event featured a clarinet quartet during a reception and featured the Chamber Singers during the dinner.
The endowment Honor Wall located in the Reynolds Center recognizes all completed endowments. Shown above are the following honorees: Jerry Thomas, Ann Hughey, Charles and Carrie Ann Holiman Trexler, Rebecca Stewart Matthews, Vonceil Neal, Mike Neal, Sonny Whittington, and David Sixbey.
Dr. Ann Kesse Thomas and Will Bowling are shown in front of the endowment Honor Wall.
Dr. David Rankin presents Rebecca Stewart Matthews with a Top Five award, recognizing those who were most generous during the last fiscal year.
SAU Mulerider, Megan, Maye, shares with the crowd the impact that scholarship has made on her academic career.
Julia Laney Machen receives a commemorative coaster for her annual giving.
Claude and Irma Ramey accept an award for their giving.
Dr. Willis Beene accepts an award for his contributions to the Foundation.
Dr. Pam Schonefeld and daughter Christina receive an award.
Bruce Maloch accepts an award from a President’s Ambassador.
Bob and Mickey Pittman Ketchum stand to be recognized for their life-time giving.
Richard White visits with Ken and Nancy Williams.
Homer and Eddie Stout visit with Mike White.
Molly Harsh Burns and Dr. George Combs visit before the evening begins.
Mike and Rebecca Stewart Matthews stand to be recognized for completing a scholarship endowment in memory her sister Valerie Stewart.
Dr. Harold Brinson, former SAU President, visits with Chuck Fowler.
Tim Daniels shares a moment with Emeritus Chemistry Professor Dr. B. C. Dodson.
July 26, 2011
Construction is underway for a regional livestock and rodeo arena
MAGNOLIA – A groundbreaking ceremony was held on August 8, 2011 for a new regional livestock and rodeo arena on the campus of Southern Arkansas University. In a unique twist, the ground was broken by a mule and a blue and gold plow.
The arena will be located on U.S. 82, just west of the Mulerider Stables.
Funded in large part by a $2 million gift from Therral and Jan Story of Magnolia, the arena will be the home of the Southern Arkansas University collegiate rodeo team, providing a covered facility for practice and competition. The team is nationally competitive, sending seven to Collegiate National Finals Rodeo in 2011 and producing a national champion in 2009.
SAU President Dr. David Rankin said the arena will be much more than just a home for the Mulerider rodeo team. The facility will also be available for use by those wishing to promote a variety of events from livestock shows and rodeos to concerts and trade shows.
“We really think this arena will make an impact on the economy of Magnolia and the region,” Rankin said. “It is going to draw people into town for multiple-day events, creating hotel stays and purchases at our stores and restaurants, feeding dollars back into the local economy.”
The arena complex will consist of two structures, the main arena and an enclosed reception area. The main structure will consist of a nearly 78,000 square foot covered rodeo-style arena with a dirt floor and seating for approximately 1,400. The 7,500 square foot reception area will sit in front of the arena and will include the ticket booth, concession stand, an office, a meeting/conference room, men’s and women’s restrooms, and a grilling porch.
During phase one of construction, only the main arena structure will be built. The reception area will be constructed in phase two.
CLICK HERE to download a booklet that contains more information on the arena.
May 6, 2011
(Left to right standing: Dr. Scott White, Chairman of the Department of Chemistry and Physics; Taylor Moore, Chemistry Preceptor; Ms. Connie Wilbur, Human Resources Manager of Aerojet in Camden; Dr. Shawn Krosnick, Assistant Professor of Biology; and Dr. Viktoriya Black, Assistant Professor of Biology; Seated Ryan Mahelona and Jessica Ziegler, microbiology students).
Science courses are often intimidating for college students, but a grant from Aerojet Corporation of Camden will ease the pressure on students at Southern Arkansas University.
Through its parent company, GenCorp Foundation, Aerojet has provided a $17,000 grant to provide for student preceptors to assist students in biology, chemistry, and physics labs and to provide tutoring outside the labs. Nationwide there is a significant attrition rate in university-level science classes. This program is designed to help the students make it through those first daunting university science classes with the skills that they will need to succeed in both upper-level and graduate studies in the future.
The Undergraduate Laboratory Preceptor Experience will target students in introductory biology, chemistry, and physics courses. Faculty instructors of the designated courses will select preceptors from the pool of upper-level science and engineering majors. The preceptors will be present during the laboratory sessions and will be available for preparation and tutoring help outside of the lab each week during evening hours.
While the primary beneficiaries will be the beginning science and engineering majors, the preceptors will gain a wealth of practical experience that will assist them when they move on to a graduate or professional program.
The grant funded the program for the spring 2011 semester and will continue in for fall 2011. During the spring semester, 243 students enrolled in 11 lab sections benefited from the use of the preceptors.
The grant from Aerojet was given to the University through the SAU Foundation. Aerojet is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader principally serving the missile and space propulsion and defense and armaments markets since 1942