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Donald W. Reynolds Center for Health Sciences to be dedicated Sept. 25 during Centennial Weekend

Sept. 24, 2009 -- Two years after construction began, the newly-completed Donald W. Reynolds Center for Health Sciences will be dedicated in a special ceremony Friday, Sept. 25, at 10:30 a.m., as part of Arkansas State University’s Centennial Weekend public events on campus. The dedication ceremony will take place on the building’s lower level. Tours of the building, located at 116 North Caraway Road, will follow the ceremony.

'This is a landmark event for the College of Nursing and Health Professions,” said Dr. Susan Hanrahan, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions. “Without the resources of Donald W. Reynolds or the generosity of the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, this building would have never become a reality. Our ability to move to the next level has been achieved. Everything about this building is state-of-the-art and we are eternally grateful to the donors, architects, and contractors--it is an incredible space.”

Arkansas State University received the largest single donation in its history when a charitable gift of $14,508,342 from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation was granted to the university in May 2007. The gift was earmarked for the construction of a three-story health sciences building just northeast of the Student Union to support the College of Nursing and Health Professions. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Reynolds Center were held Nov. 3, 2007.

'There may not be a greater educational need in the country today than educating doctors and nursing and healthcare providers,” stated Donald W. Reynolds Foundation chairman Fred W. Smith. “Although this facility was funded through the Foundation’s Capital Grants program, it is also an excellent strategic match with our focus on training health care providers to meet the needs of our aging population. With this new facility, we believe that ASU will be better positioned to help improve the quality of health care for the elderly and for all Arkansans.”

"During recent months, our great country has been engaged in debate and discussion about health care reform,” said Chancellor Robert L. Potts. “Despite issues about access and payment, there is little dispute that the quality of health care in America is excellent. Health care professionals are responsible for that, and we, at Arkansas State University, are dedicated to preparing students to become excellent professional health care providers.

"Having the tools and facilities necessary to carry out our mission is crucial. The growth and success in the College of Nursing and Health Professions compelled us to acquire new space. Through its visionary outlook and its outstanding generosity, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation has heard our impassioned dream and converted that dream into reality. Arkansas State University aspires to progress in size and in academic reputation. This stunning facility will enable the Jonesboro campus to make a huge leap toward our goals. Dr. Susan Hanrahan, Dr. Les Wyatt and Mr. Mike Gibson deserve much credit for presenting a compelling case for funding of this project to the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.”

In August 2008, a $1 million commitment was made to ASU by the Judd Hill Foundation for the Reynolds Center. The restricted fund is to be used exclusively for building maintenance and repair including the repair or replacement of specialized equipment within the building.

“I would also like to sincerely thank Mike Gibson, executor of the Judd Hill Foundation. His commitment to investments in the Delta will reap rewards for us, our children, our children’s children and beyond. What incredible vision!” said Dr. Hanrahan.

The center is a 50,650-square-foot structure that houses the Speech and Hearing Center, the Beck PRIDE Center for America’s Wounded Veterans, the Department of Communication Disorders, and a nurse anesthesia lab. The center also houses interdisciplinary labs, a community education center, research labs, classrooms, an auditorium, a computer lab, a student lounge, a conference room, group study rooms, a nursing clinical learning lab, health assessment labs, and special project rooms.

'The Reynolds Center for Health Sciences has provided new learning opportunities for students in the College of Nursing and Health Professions,” said Dr. Sue McLarry, chair, School of Nursing. “Our students are very tech-savvy, and the state-of-the-art technology creates a wonderful environment in which to learn. The Clinical Learning Centers allow students to gain skills and confidence prior to entering an actual patient setting.”

Standard equipment fixtures include high fidelity mannequins and classroom teaching technology. The facility is furnished with $744,801 worth of major equipment and $344,645 of loose furnishings. The College of Nursing and Health Professions will also continue to occupy space in the Eugene Smith Building and the original Nursing and Health Professions Building. The additional 50,000 square foot Reynolds Center was fueled by the tremendous growth of the college and the need for space for new programs, equipment, research, increased enrollment and faculty, and areas for simulations and academic assignments.

Chairman of the Department of Communications, Dr. Richard A. Neeley, said, “A critically important component of the graduate curriculum in Communication Disorders is supervised clinical practicum. Relocating the ASU Speech and Hearing Center to the new Donald W. Reynolds Center for Health Sciences has provided our students and patients a state-of-the-art environment for improving communication skills.”

'Approximately 55 patients are treated each week in the ASU Speech and Hearing Center, and each patient is scheduled for two one-hour appointments per week.  Since we use the Speech and Hearing Center as a “hands-on” teaching facility, we provide free services to the campus and the general public.  The Reynolds Center is providing wonderful opportunities to expand the number and types of diagnostic and treatment services students and faculty are offering.  We are convinced that this facility is the nicest and most functional in the state of Arkansas and in the mid-south region.”

"Thanks to the the hard work and dedication of our faculty, staff, and students, a new building was necessary,” said Dr. Hanrahan. “The Reynolds Foundation made a great choice. Our opportunities are once again unlimited.”

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Foundation has, since 1994, awarded over $378 million to organizations in Arkansas.

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