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Cooper Alumni Center receives gift from Reynolds family

Nov. 4, 2008 -- The Arkansas State University Alumni Association has received a major gift toward the new Cooper Alumni Center from Steve and Ann Reynolds ofSteve Reynolds, pictured here, and his wife, Ann Smithwick Reynolds, have given a gift to ASU's new Cooper Alumni Center.Memphis. Steve Reynolds, a 1968 graduate with a degree in business, is president and chief executive officer of the Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation headquartered in Memphis, Tenn. His wife Ann Smithwick Reynolds graduated from ASU in 1970 with a degree in education.

Reynolds said, "Ann and I are grateful for the education we received at Arkansas State University and have fond memories of friends, faculty and the university leadership. It is a privilege to help advance the Cooper Alumni Center, as it will serve as an important gathering place for generations of ASU alumni.

In recognition of the Reynolds' gift, the main entry terrace of the building is named in their honor. The Cooper Alumni Center held a 'soft opening' on Sept. 20, and its formal dedication on Oct. 17.

According to Bob Earwood of Collierville, Tenn., former president of the ASU Alumni Association and one of this year's Distinguished Alumni, "I'd like to thank Steve and Ann Reynolds for their very generous gift to the Cooper Alumni Center. This facility will be the focal point of all alumni returning to the ASU campus whether it be for university functions, sporting events, educational purposes or simply meeting old friends. I cannot express enough gratitude to Steve and Ann Reynolds to tell them how much this means to the university."

Beth Smith, executive director of the ASU Alumni Association, said, "Steve and Ann Reynolds' commitment to the project early on was one of the driving factors that insured its success. The construction of this facility is a transformational moment in how we will connect with ASU alumni in the future. I thank them for helping to make it happen."

Steve Reynolds was named a Distinguished Alumnus of ASU-Jonesboro in 1995. After serving Baptist Memorial Hospital as an administrative resident, Reynolds was named president and chief executive officer in 1992, then became chief executive officer of the Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation within two years. He has served as Chair of the Tennessee Hospital Association, the National Committee for Quality Health Care, and the Health Care Institute. He serves on the Boards of the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Ducks Unlimited, Inc., Voluntary Hospitals of America, Memphis Tomorrow, University of Memphis and Memphis Bioworks Foundation. He has received the B’Nai B’rith National Health Leadership Award, the Tennessee Hospital Association Distinguished Service Award, the Washington University School of Medicine Health Administration Distinguished Alumnus Award and the Rotary Paul Harris Fellow Award.

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.  The back terrace overlooking the lake contains engraved bricks available for purchase.  A reception area and lounge have a view of the lake, with the banquet room accommodating seated dinners for 200 people. Included in the office wing are the workspaces for ASU Alumni Relations, the Office of Development, and the Vice-Chancellor for University Advancement.

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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