ASU holds ‘Welcome Back' reception for student-athletes

From Arkansas State University

The Arkansas State Athletics Department hosted its annual Student-Athlete Welcome Back event Monday night at the Fowler Center and the Convocation Center, as members of all 16 sports gathered for an evening of dinner and entertainment.

Early during the reception, Director of Athletics Dr. Dean Lee welcomed the Red Wolves back for the 2011-12 academic year and athletic seasons. Lee stressed to the student-athletes the importance of making good decisions and representing ASU in a positive light both on and off the playing field.

ASU's student-athletes also took advantage of the opportunity to hear a motivational speech from guest speaker and ASU alumnus Bob Earwood. In addition to Lee and Earwood, the students also heard from ASU Interim Chancellor Dr. Dan Howard and Associate Athletic Director for Student Services Stacey Willmott.

Following the reception at the Fowler Center, the student-athletes made their way to the ASU Convocation Center for dinner and additional entertainment provided by the athletic department.

"We are happier than ever to welcome our student-athletes back to campus and get the year underway," said Lee. "This year promises to be an exciting one for Red Wolves Athletics, and hearing from an alumnus as dedicated and successful as Bob Earwood will certainly inspire our athletes as they prepare for competition."

After finishing third overall in the Sun Belt Conference Bubas Cup standings and placing 154 student-athletes on the SBC Commissioner's List and Academic Honor Roll a year ago, ASU Athletics enters the 2011-12 school year on an upswing. The Red Wolves finished fourth in the Bubas Cup standings two years ago, giving the athletic department it's best two-year finish since 1999-2000. The 154 student-athletes named to the academic honor roll surpasses the mark of 128 set two years ago.

A native of Memphis, Earwood graduated from ASU in 1980 with a degree in Business Administration and is the president of Earwood Contractors, which develops, builds and operates resort hotels & golf courses. He was a member of the ASU football team from 1974-1978 and lettered 4 years. He played both tight end and center on the undefeated 1975 team and was captain of the 1978 conference championship team. Following graduation, he has served in numerous volunteer positions at ASU, including two terms as president of the Red Wolf Club, president of the Alumni Association, Intercollegiate Athletics committee member and the ASU Lettermen's Club Board of Directors. He is currently Chairman of the ASUFoundation. He also assisted the ASU athletic staff in the design & construction of the football complex and did the same for the Cooper Alumni Center. For his dedication to Arkansas State University, he was honored as Distinguished Alumnus in 2008.