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Cooper Alumni Center receives gift from
E. C. Barton and Company

Oct. 17, 2008 -- The Arkansas State University Alumni Association has received a major gift toward the new Cooper Alumni Center from E. C. Barton and Company of Jonesboro. In recognition of the gift, the banquet reception corridor overlooking the lake at the Alumni Center will be named in honor of E. C. Barton and Company. The Cooper Alumni Center held a 'soft opening' on Sept. 20, and holds its formal dedication on Oct. 17.

According to Beth Smith, executive director of the ASU Alumni Association, "The Cooper Alumni Center will be a premier facility and having the E. C. Barton Company associated with us will enhance our visibility within the Jonesboro and Northeast Arkansas community. This is a wonderful investment in Arkansas State University, and we appreciate so much their partnership with us."

Niel Crowson is chairman, president and CEO of E. C. Barton and Company. Speaking for the company, he said, "E. C. Barton and Company dates back to 1885, and, like ASU, has a proud heritage in our community, proven strong over time. We are proud to partner with them."

Crowson, a 1975 graduate of ASU-Jonesboro with a degree in agriculture, said, "Arkansas State University has made significant contributions to our success over the years by providing us with a pool of talented individuals." He added, "Our company is rich in individuals who attended ASU, from management roles to our board of directors."

In 2003, the ASU Alumni Association received a $2 million gift from Darrell and Charlotte Pugh Cooper of Clarkston, Michigan, toward the construction of the 20,000 square-foot facility. Both of the Coopers were members of the A-State class of 1964. Their contribution started the fundraising for the privately-funded facility, named the Cooper Alumni Center in recognition of their gift.

The multipurpose facility includes a banquet hall, board room, meeting areas, history room, and office space for the alumni and development units of the university.  The back terrace overlooking the lake will contain engraved bricks available for purchase.  A reception area and lounge will have a view of the lake, with the banquet room accommodating seated dinners for 200 people. Included in the office wing will be the workspaces for ASU Alumni Relations, the Office of Development, and the Vice-Chancellor for University Advancement and staff.

There are currently more than 60,000 ASU alumni. For more information on the Alumni Association or the Cooper Alumni Center, contact the ASU Alumni office at 870-972-ALUM (2586), or email For more details and pictures of the facility, see the Alumni Association website at



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