JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas State University College of Business recently received a large gift for its new sales leadership center.
The family of Robert M. "Bob" Wood announced they are providing $1 million to the center.
This is the largest single gift to the College of Business has received and is among the top 10 gifts in A-State history.
"All of us in the A-State College of Business are very thankful for this extraordinary gift from the Wood family," College of Business Dean Dr. Shane Hunt said. "The R.M. "Bob" Wood Sales Leadership Center will be a shining example of our mission to educate, enhance and enrich our students, and the community of Jonesboro and indeed the state of Arkansas for generations to come."
Hunt said he hopes the Wood Sales Leadership Center program prepares students for a job in professional sales by giving them real life experience including sales call role plays, interviews, receptions and other events.
The center will provide a lab environment for students and area professionals. It will include video training software along with a boardroom and individual sales-presentation settings.
Construction of the facility is currently underway and the endowment will support future needs within the center.
"Bob chose Jonesboro for his home after attending Arkansas State where he met his wife Peggy, and then starting a business while raising two daughters in the community," son-in-law Mark Ammerman said. "What most people who knew Bob didn't know was prior to his life in Arkansas real estate development. He was a traveling sales rep. Those were the days when trips were driven not flown, on the road two weeks at a time, snail mail not email, and sales were done face-to-face, not over the web. Bob knew good products were not enough, relationships were important and mutual and salespeople needed to represent both their clients and their employers."
Ammerman said the students who become involved with the leadership center program, which began in June, will learn the modern skills to build trust and solid relationships in pursuit of satisfied clients and careers.
"We can't think of a better way to remember him than by supporting the university which he loved, the community where he spent his life, and creating a lasting means to change the lives of upcoming business leaders," Ammerman said.
Along with naming the Wood Sales Leadership Center, the family gift also establishes an endowed professorship in sales and supports student travel to national sales competitions.
In special recognition to Wood, a classroom in the Delta Center will be named the R.M. "Bob" Wood Classroom.?
"We are grateful for the Wood family," Chancellor Tim Hudson said. "Their generosity will help A-State's College of Business reach new heights and dream bigger dreams. Their generous gift will unquestionably help Arkansas State rise to fulfill its vision of becoming one of the top sales programs of its kind in the country."
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