March 26, 2007 — JONESBORO–The Arkansas State University Alumni Association today announced a major gift from the Kays Foundation of Jonesboro for the Cooper Alumni Center currently under construction. The gift was acknowledged with a noon luncheon for invited guests at ASU’s Judd Hill Center.
The gift will provide funds for the alumni center’s Board Room which will be named in honor of V. C. Kays, V. H. Kays and the Kays Foundation in recognition of the significant contributions of the Kays family and the Kays Foundation to the growth and development of Arkansas State University.
ASU Alumni Association president Whit Burton of Monticello said: “I’d like to thank the Kays Foundation for their generous gift to the Cooper Alumni Center on behalf of the more than 58,000 alumni of Arkansas State University. We especially appreciate that the group who will be our neighbors on campus will also be significantly represented at the alumni center, the place the alumni can call home when they visit campus. The building is the result of the dedication and hard work of many people who are proud of ASU, and we are very grateful for friends like the Kays Foundation. Through their leadership, they are helping make the alumni center a reality.”
Beth Smith, executive director of the ASU Alumni Association praised the Kays Foundation for their gift of $300,000 to the alumni center. “The Cooper Alumni Center will provide a place for current and future ASU alumni to visit, to celebrate events like Homecoming, and to meet with friends and family,” she said. “Along with being an asset to the university. It will be available to campus and civic groups for meetings and events. It will truly be a place for the entire community to enjoy.”
This year, the ASU Alumni Association marks 83 years of service. There are more than 58,000 A-State alumni, with more than 60 percent residing in Arkansas. The 20,000 square-foot alumni center is located on the lake across from the ASU pavilion and is named for Darrell and Charlotte Pugh Cooper of Clarkston, Michigan, who graduated from A-State in 1964. Along with the Board Room, a history room and multipurpose areas, offices for the ASU Alumni Association and the Office of Development will also be located in the alumni center. Construction of the outer shell of the building is complete, with many levels of naming opportunities still available.
The Kays Foundation makes grants and funding available to Arkansas State University to enhance efforts to achieve the teaching, research, and service goals and purposes of the university. Applications for funding must receive endorsement by appropriate university officials as part of the application process, with representatives of the Kays Foundation conducting the final review.
Current board members of the Kays Foundation include President Emeritus Eugene W. Smith; Emeritus Professor Charles Rasberry; Attorney Lucinda McDaniel; Emeritus Professor Robert Ferralasco; Emeritus Professor Tom Bishop, and alumna Betty Jo Rousey. Wayne Blake serves as Executive Vice President and Treasurer of the Board, which meets yearly to consider grant