Board Chair Franks passes away

SAU Board - Buddy Franks at MulerideSouthern Arkansas University mourned the loss of Board of Trustees Chairman O.A. “Buddy” Franks and welcomed new trustee Therral Story last fall.

Franks passed away September 21, 2015, at his home in Magnolia.

He was appointed by Governor Beebe in 2012 to fill the remaining two years of a term vacated by Dr. Jack Harrington. Franks then continued on the SAU Board to fill the void when Chairman William “Bill” Stringfellow passed away in 2014.

Franks completed the SAU presidential search, hiring Berry last spring to succeed Dr. David Rankin upon his retirement. Franks was also on hand to unveil the naming of the David F. Rankin College of Business at a dinner honoring the retiring Mulerider leader following a fundraising campaign. Franks was elected chairman of the Board on May 7, 2015.

A life-long resident of Magnolia, Franks is a 1954 graduate of SAU. After receiving a degree in business, he spent 14 years at the First National Bank of Magnolia before becoming a commissioned agent with Mobile Oil Company. His career in oil and gas distribution spanned more than four decades.

Steve Keith filled the spot of Board Chairman, and Magnolia businessman and SAU supporter Therral Story was appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to fill the open position left by the late Franks. Story’s appointment will expire on January 14, 2017.

Story and his wife, Jan, have a long relationship with SAU. The couple gave $2 million to the SAU Foundation toward construction of the Therral and Jan Story Arena. He is the owner of Therral Story Well Service, which drills oil and gas wells.

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