Arkansas State University


Markham Howe
Sara McNeil
Gina Bowman

(870) 972-3056
fax (870) 972-3693

More information:

Links to News Releases
& Announcements

Campus Calendar
Public activities at ASU

About ASU
Overview, history
and more

Mike Beebe Veterans Fund gala to be held Feb. 20 at Governor's Mansion

Feb. 19, 2009 -- Injured combat veterans attending Arkansas State University in Jonesboro will reap the benefits when Grammy-winning country and western recording artist Tracy Lawrence and TRICARE deputy director Major General Elder Granger, M.D., are honored at a special event at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion, at 6 p.m. in Little Rock Friday, Feb. 20.

Both Lawrence and Major General Granger will be recognized at the second annual Sigma Pi Walter M. Schirra Gala Benefit for their accomplishments in public service, philanthropic efforts, character and leadership. A significant portion of the evening’s proceeds will support the Mike Beebe Veterans Fund, an educational endowment for the injured combat veterans at ASU’s Beck PRIDE Center for America’s Wounded Veterans at Arkansas State.

“We are very proud to be associated with this event,” said Susan Tonymon, director of the Beck PRIDE Center for America’s Wounded Veterans at ASU. “The scholarship fund is to honor those individuals who have served in combat for our country during present day conflicts and to honor the families who have lost a loved one in the service of our country.  We are truly appreciative of the hard work and efforts by Sigma Pi fraternity at Arkansas State and the Sigma Pi Educational Foundation in Nashville, Tenn., and look forward to honoring both Tracy Lawrence and Major General Granger.”

The Mike Beebe Veterans Fund was established in honor of Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe by members of the Alpha Pi chapter of Sigma Pi at ASU. More than $20,000 in scholarships has been awarded to student-veterans since the program started in the spring of 2008.

During Friday’s program, a member of Sigma Pi who distinguishes himself through public service, philanthropy, leadership, character and personal accomplishment will receive the Walter Schirra Leadership Award.

Founders of the Beck PRIDE Center for Wounded Combat Veterans at Arkansas State, Buddy and Charlotte Beck of Fairfax Station, Va., will also be honored for their generosity and support of Arkansas’ combat injured veterans with a special presentation by Major General William Wofford, The Adjutant General for the Arkansas National Guard. Buddy Beck is an alumnus of Arkansas State University and the Alpha Pi chapter of Sigma Pi fraternity.

Major General Granger serves as the principle advisor to the assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) on Department of Defense health plan policy and performance.  Major General Granger serves as chairperson for the Beck PRIDE Center for America’s Wounded Veterans’ National Advisory Council and is an alumnus of Arkansas State University and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.  In 2008, he was recognized as a distinguished alumnus by both educational institutions.

Lawrence was born in Atlanta, Texas, and raised in Foreman, Ark. He played in his first band at the age of 16 and later attended Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia where he was a member of the Sigma Pi fraternity. In 1990, Lawrence left Arkansas for Nashville, Tenn. where he hoped to find success as a recording artist.

For more information, contact Richard Robinson, CEO, Sigma Pi Educational Foundation by cell phone at (615) 587-4804, or contact Susan Tonymon, director, Beck PRIDE Center for America's Wounded Veterans, via cell phone at (870) 530-2994 or via e-mail at




  NewsPage:  |  Back to TOP  |