Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, Fred Smith Give UA Student Athletic Center $1.25 Million

by Lance Turner  on Tuesday, Apr. 17, 2012 2:20 pm  

Citing "courageous leadership" by athletics director Jeff Long, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and its board chair announce two separate gifts to the University of Arkansas totaling $1.25 million. (Photo by University of Arkansas)

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From the University of Arkansas Athletic Department:

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Citing "the courageous leadership" demonstrated recently by athletics director Jeff Long, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and its board chair Tuesday announced two separate gifts to the University of Arkansas totaling $1.25 million.

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation approved a $1 million gift to help fund the university's planned Student-Athlete Success Center, a multipurpose academic resource and study center and dining hall for use by the university's 460 students participating in intercollegiate athletics. 

Reynolds Foundation Board Chair Fred W. Smith made a separate, personal donation of $250,000 to support the Student-Athlete Success Center and to rename the university's existing student-athlete development program as the Jeff Long Student-Athlete Development Program.

"The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is pleased to make a gift to assist in the construction of a new Student-Athlete Success Center and to create the Jeff Long Student-Athlete Development Program at the University of Arkansas," Smith announced. "For more than 57 years, the Reynolds Foundation has identified and financially supported organizations and their leaders whose vision is to make a lasting impact in the lives of others.

"The courageous leadership demonstrated by Jeff Long in the course of recent events has further affirmed our confidence in his leadership and his vision for intercollegiate athletics at the University of Arkansas," Smith continued. "Mr. Long acted with integrity and with the best interests of Razorback student-athletes and the University of Arkansas in mind."

Smith also shared the reasons behind his own personal gift to the university in Jeff Long's name.

"In addition to the Reynolds Foundation gift, I am honored to make a personal gift of $250,000 to the Student-Athlete Success Center and the student-athlete development program," Smith stated. "My family is extremely proud of the University of Arkansas and all that it represents. We are grateful to Chancellor [G. David] Gearhart and Vice Chancellor Long for their tremendous leadership and guidance of this great institution that continues to hold a special place in the hearts of the Smith family."

"The university is extremely fortunate to have the support of the Reynolds Foundation board as well as the support of Fred Smith and his family," Gearhart said. "Their generous gifts represent an impressive and meaningful expression of support for-and trust in-the leader of Razorback athletics. They also represent a strong commitment to the young women and men who represent our university in intercollegiate athletics as students and as athletes.  Both the Reynolds Foundation and the Smith family are making clear their belief in our university and its future."

"In approving this grant, the Foundation reaffirms our commitment to Razorback Athletics and the University of Arkansas," Foundation President Steven L. Anderson stated. "Our previous grant to kick off the expansion of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium and most recently our $10 million commitment to the football operations center challenged the Razorback faithful to step up their support for the football program. We hope, once again, supporters from across the state and country will show their support of Jeff Long and the athletic program in a meaningful way."

The Student-Athlete Success Center is one of the proposed facilities outlined in the recently released Razorback Athletic Master Facility Plan. The center will house academic support facilities, including group and individual tutorial rooms, study hall areas, a large auditorium, computer labs, multi-media, career planning, service learning and community service areas. 

The center will also include a dining facility that will provide a training table for all 460 student-athletes competing in 19 sports. The dining facility will cater to the nutritional needs of student-athletes while providing the flexibility to meet dining needs of student-athletes on weekends and during other irregular schedules. The facility will also help student-athletes in the efficiency of meeting the many demands of student-athletes by providing a training table located near practice and academic areas.



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