JONESBORO — Robert M. “Bob” Wood, a graduate of Arkansas State University and long-time local builder and developer, was posthumously awarded an honorary doctoral degree during A-State’s fall commencement ceremony, on Saturday, Dec. 10.
The ASU Board of Trustees unanimously voted at its December meeting to confer the Doctor of Humane Letters degree in recognition of Wood’s contributions to higher education and to the public good.
In October 2015, the Wood family, including wife Peggy, daughter Jill (Wood) Morris, and Mark and daughter Lisa (Wood) Ammerman, provided a gift of $1 million to the College of Business in his honor. The donation marked the largest single gift to the College of Business and is among the top 10 gifts in A-State history.
The gift created the R.M. “Bob” Wood Sales Leadership Center which opened this year. The program is centered on three interdependent and strategically aligned capabilities that enhance the student experience and promote personal and professional growth and success. A comprehensive curriculum, professional development and career planning strategies, along with workshops ignite student passion for the sales discipline and empower students to transition into their careers with confidence and purpose.
To further benefit the state’s business interests, the center’s lab space is open to the general business community as well as all students at Arkansas State.
Wood attended Arkansas State and earned his business degree in 1960. Prior to that, he served in the Army where he trained as a military policeman and served in the Korean War.
Following his military career, he returned to attend Arkansas State and made Jonesboro his home. He was a founding member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and continued his support of the A-State chapter throughout the years. While in Jonesboro, he met his wife Peggy Ann Beck.
During his early business life, Wood resided in the St. Louis area where he was a traveling sales representative. In 1977, he relocated back to Jonesboro and worked to open his own business, using his determination and financial discipline to establish himself as a successful businessman. Wood centered his activities on homebuilding and real estate development.
Wood was an extremely active builder and developer in Northeast Arkansas. He was a member of the Northeast Arkansas Homebuilders Association where he served as president for several years. He also served on the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission for the city of Jonesboro.
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