University of Arkansas Receives $1.25 Million in Gifts

The University of Arkansas has announced two gifts totaling $1.25 million from the Las Vegas-based Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and foundation board chair Fred W. Smith.

A $1 million gift from the Reynolds Foundation will support construction of the Student-Athlete Success Center, a new multipurpose academic resource/study center/dining hall that will serve UA students who participate in intercollegiate athletics, while a gift of $250,000 from Smith will support the development of the center and be used to rename the university's existing student-athlete development program after athletic director Jeff Long.

Long recently fired head football coach Bobby Petrino after Petrino and student-athlete development coordinator Jessica Dorrell were involved in a motorcycle accident and an internal review determined that the two were having an affair. "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," said Smith. "Mr. Long acted with integrity and with the best interests of Razorback student-athletes and the University of Arkansas in mind."

The Student-Athlete Success Center is one of the proposed facilities outlined in the Razorback Athletic Master Facility Plan, which requires approval from the University of Arkansas board of trustees. The facility, which is projected to cost roughly $23 million, will include group and individual tutorial rooms, study hall areas, a large auditorium, computer labs, a career planning office, and service learning and community services areas.

"In approving this grant, the foundation reaffirms our commitment to Razorback athletics and the University of Arkansas," said Reynolds Foundation president Steven L. Anderson. "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."

"Reynolds Foundation, Smith Donate $1.25 Million in Honor of Jeff Long." University of Arkansas Press Release 04/18/2012. Roby Brock. "Long Fires Head Razorback Football Coach Bobby Petrino." Arkansas News 04/14/2012.