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Gift from Buddy and Charlotte Beck
supports program for wounded veterans

Jan. 18, 2008 -
- A new center that offers university services to wounded veterans is off to a great start with support from two Arkansas State University alumni, according to Dr. Robert L. Potts, chancellor of ASU-Jonesboro.

The Beck PRIDE Center for America’s Wounded Veterans was made possible through the generosity of Buddy and Charlotte Beck of Fairfax Station, Va. The Becks recently presented the university with a gift of $1 million.

"This is a wonderful gift because it will benefit many of our nation’s veterans. Buddy and Charlotte’s generosity to their alma mater will never be forgotten."

--Dr. Robert L. Potts
Arkansas State University

"We are thrilled with the way Arkansas State University is making our vision a reality through the work of the Beck PRIDE Center," the Becks commented. "Arkansas State University has meant so much to both of us over the years. This was one way we could show our appreciation in a tangible way that will also benefit those who have sacrificed in service to our great country."

The acronym in Beck PRIDE Center stands for Personal Rehabilitation, Individual Development and Education. The center will assist injured military personnel who have served in defense of the United States and who would benefit from rehabilitation, training, and socialization in a university environment.

"We are excited that Buddy and Charlotte Beck have decided to make this generous gift to Arkansas State University," Dr. Potts said. "We plan to use this to support the Beck PRIDE program and center, as we have discussed with the Becks. This is a wonderful gift because it will benefit many of our nation’s veterans. Buddy and Charlotte’s generosity to their alma mater will never be forgotten."

The center is designed to supplement but not supplant other federal and state programs benefiting veterans. Dr. Potts said previously that the center " . . . is being established not only to offer rehabilitation and prepare these wounded warriors for post-service careers, but also to provide peer and family support during this critical period of the veterans’ lives."

Both the university and the Becks also hope that business, industry and other government agencies will see the center’s potential and support its replication throughout the country. Dr. Potts said he believes the center has tremendous potential to become a model for other educational institutions who wish to assist wounded veterans.

Dr. Les Wyatt, president of the Arkansas State University System, also expressed appreciation to the Becks and the program they have made possible at the Jonesboro campus.

"The Arkansas State University System serves the citizens of Arkansas by providing a wealth of opportunities," he said. "The Beck PRIDE Center is another example of how ASU is meeting a need by serving our veterans. We are grateful to Buddy and Charlotte Beck for their generosity and their confidence."

Elected officials offer support to Beck PRIDE Center
The Becks’ support for veterans through this model project has also received attention from elected leaders.

Gov. Mike Beebe commented, "I am a big advocate of the Beck PRIDE Center. It provides needed support for our wounded warriors and puts Arkansas in the forefront of combining education, rehabilitation and socialization of our veterans on a university campus. I urge industry and government to get behind this program."

Senator Mark Pryor said, "The Beck family is honoring our veterans’ great sacrifice through their generosity, which will make a tremendous difference to the well-being of countless servicemen and women. ASU’s PRIDE program sets the gold standard for meeting the needs of veterans."

First District Congressman Marion Berry also expressed his support.

"The PRIDE program will help veterans transition into the next chapter of their lives after they have served our country," said Congressman Berry. "We can never do enough to honor our veterans for their service, which is why we must ensure our men and women in uniform have the resources they need before, during and after their service to our nation. I commend Buddy and Charlotte Beck for making this model program a reality at ASU and look forward to working to find more ways to pay tribute to our veterans."

Center offers academic, social and rehabilitative services
Susan Tonymon, director of the Beck PRIDE Center, said the past two months have been a busy time as more veterans learn about the program and inquire about services.

"We all have likely heard someone ask, ‘I’m just one person, what can I do personally to help military veterans?’ Well, graciously, the Beck family provided the answer to their question. Through their vision, commitment and generosity, the Beck PRIDE Center for America’s Wounded Veterans at ASU is now providing much needed readjustment support to combat injured military service men and women and their families. The Beck PRIDE Center is concrete evidence that proves individual citizens can truly make a difference in the lives of their fellow man."

Veterans’ services through the Beck Center have a three-fold dimension, serving the clients’ academic, social and rehabilitative needs. In addition, services rendered have included mental health information and counseling referrals, employment referrals, medical resources, and government services. Approximately 30 veterans are either receiving services or have requests or referrals in process.

Dr. Susan Hanrahan, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions, joined Tonymon in commending the Becks for their commitment to those who have served our nation.

"The Becks’ original concept for a center which addressed the needs of America’s wounded veterans on a university campus was very insightful and right on target. Everything we continue to see, read and hear validates our work in the Beck PRIDE Center at ASU. We are grateful for their generosity and thank them for their support of our veterans."

Sigma Pi Educational Foundation will give scholarships
The Beck PRIDE Center is also supported by the Sigma Pi Educational Foundation through the Governor Mike Beebe Veterans Scholarship Fund, which was established with support from the Beck Foundation, according to Richard Robinson, president and chief development officer.

"The fund is designed to provide educational and scholarship opportunities to wounded and disabled veterans, and to the children of service men and women disabled or killed in action," Robinson said.

The Foundation established the scholarship fund in honor of Gov. Beebe, who was a member of Sigma Pi Fraternity while he was a student at ASU. The first scholarships will be awarded in 2008.

Alumni Association recognizes Buddy Beck
Buddy Beck was recognized in 2005 by the ASU Alumni Association as one of the university’s Distinguished Alumni. A member of Sigma Pi Fraternity, he graduated from ASU in 1959 with a degree in chemistry.

Following additional education and decorated military and public service, he launched a business career in advanced research and engineering. He was awarded three patents in computational engineering and advanced sensors, and he founded a number of companies involved in energy, defense and medical technology.

In 2000, he founded Trans Digital Technologies, a leader in advanced technology identity solutions that produces U. S. passports and smartcards. Through an acquisition and merger, that company became part of L1 Identity Solutions
(NYSE:ID), and Beck serves as vice chairman of the board of that company.

He also sits on the boards of several other companies as well as a number of national security boards and non-profit organizations. He was recently appointed to the board of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and the Army Science Board to provide counsel to the Secretary of the Army in scientific and technology matters.

He and his wife Charlotte are active members of the ASU Alumni Association. They have two children, Deborah Beck Corbatto and Michael Beck, and reside in Fairfax Station, Va.

Mission of the Beck PRIDE Center

Services provided through the Beck PRIDE Center, housed in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, are free, to the extent permitted by available funding, as long as the veteran meets eligibility requirements, added Dr. Hanrahan. "The university is a very natural and therapeutic environment for veterans and their families. It can be a place for healing and educational attainment to occur simultaneously."

The Beck PRIDE Center welcomes contacts, both from individuals who may qualify for services and from business and industry representatives who wish to support the Beck PRIDE Center financially or in other ways. For details about obtaining services or providing support, contact Susan Tonymon, director of the center, at or (870) 972-2624, or visit the Web site,

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