Dedications recognize completed donor projects

Dedication - Sturgis Auditorium_8Three dedications in recent months have recognized additions and improvements to the SAU campus made possible from donor contributions.

The most recent dedication was for the Sturgis Auditorium in the Wharton Nursing Building, preceded by ceremonies for the recently completed Smith Sundial and Monroe Gazebo last fall.

The Sturgis Auditorium dedication was held on January 8. This event recognized the generous gift of $40,000 by the Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable and Educational Trust. The donation helped fund recent renovation of the lecture hall, combined with support from alumni and friends who purchased seats through the Name-A-Seat Campaign.

“Although the nursing building at SAU in recent years underwent a significant expansion and remodeling, there were insufficient funds to update the lecture hall,” said Josh Kee, associate vice president for development. “The enhancements to the auditorium made it a much more interactive learning space for students and faculty members.”

There is still time for alumni and friends of SAU to purchase a seat for $250 in the auditorium. According to Kee, this is a great opportunity to remember a loved one, honor a friend, or recognize a cherished faculty member while helping in the education of our future health care providers.

To purchase a seat, click on the “Make a Gift” button at or call 870-235-4078.

The dedication of the Smith Sundial, constructed in front of the Harton Theatre in honor of the late David Thomas Smith, was held on November 5.

The Smith Sundial was funded by family and friends of Mr. Smith, and was designed and constructed by the SAU Physical Plant and the SAU Department of Art and Design. Patrick Finney was the construction supervisor and Steven Ochs was the project concrete art designer and craftsman. The Smith Sundial at SAU is one of only four Arkansas sundials that are registered on by the North American Sundial Society, and the only one outside of Little Rock and North Little Rock. It is also the only sundial in the state that is analemmatic, which is a type of horizontal sundial that has a vertical gnomon that casts a shadow on hour markers positioned in an elliptical pattern.

Smith, known as “Dave,” is a 1957 SAU graduate in business and English and retired from his working career as assistant director of the SAU Physical Plant. He also worked for many years at First National Bank of Magnolia, Koppers, Inc., and Unit Structures. He passed away on January 25, 2014, at the age of 78.

The beautiful addition to the Overstreet east lawn, the Monroe Gazebo, was dedicated on October 29. This 16×24-foot pine gazebo is a lasting tribute to Thomas Archie Monroe, who was a longtime friend and benefactor of the University. The project was funded by Monroe’s family and friends.

Monroe passed away in Magnolia on February 3, 2015, at the age of 105. He lived almost all his life in Magnolia. He graduated from Magnolia High School and from A&M College (now SAU) in 1929. Before his death, he was the oldest graduate of SAU and was one of the first recipients of the Golden Rider Award.

More stories from this issue

Receive the Stater in the mail

If you're an SAU Alum, just update your information to receive the print copy of The Stater twice a year!

Submit updates to the Stater

Do you have an idea for a story for the Stater or Alumni news update? Fill out this online form to submit your update!