SAU mourns loss of Board Chair

William Stringfellow at Story Arena Grand OpeningWilliam “Bill” Stringfellow, a true gentleman with an endless devotion to his beloved Southern Arkansas University alma mater, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 9, following heart surgery.

William StringfellowStringfellow, a retired insurance executive and attorney from Little Rock, was the Chair of the SAU Board of Trustees and was also heading up the SAU Presidential Search Committee. He gave his all for this role, spending hours researching the position’s applicant pool, according to his treasured wife, the former Betty Jo Davis.

“Mr. Stringfellow was a talented gentleman who loved SAU, and this was exemplified by his service in every possible volunteer capacity including the SAU Board of Trustees, the SAU Foundation Board of Governors, the SAU Alumni Board, and many special projects,” said Dr. David Rankin.

A native of Hampton, Stringfellow attended Southern State College (now SAU) from 1951-1952 and served in the United States Air Force from 1953-1957 before returning to Magnolia to complete his degree. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1960 and continued his education at the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville, earning a Juris Doctor degree in 1973. In 1995 he earned the Education for Ministry degree from the University of the South School of Theology in Sewanee, Tenn. He was honored with the Southern Arkansas University Distinguished Alumni award in 2007.

While a student at SAU, Stringfellow received many honors. He was named to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities (1950-60), Alpha Chi National Honor Society (1959), and received the Wall Street Journal Achievement Award as an outstanding student in the College of Business.

Stringfellow’s wife, Betty, also attended Southern State College during this time. They have remained active in supporting SAU both physically and financially for more than 50 years. They are members of the SAU Foundation’s Honor Societies and have endowed two William R. and Betty Jo Stringfellow Scholarship Funds to benefit students in the SAU College of Business. As members of the Legacy Society, they established the William R. and Betty J. Stringfellow Charitable Remainder Trust with the SAU Foundation as beneficiary for the benefit of the SAU College of Business. He served on the SAU Foundation Board of Governors from 2004-2010 and held the offices of secretary and chairman during that time.

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