Alumni Director Beth Smith Announces Retirement

JONESBORO – Arkansas State University’s executive director of alumni relations, Beth Smith announced her retirement this week.

“My time at Arkansas State has meant so much to me; more than a job – a family,” Smith said.  “I am so proud of all that has been accomplished at ASU and the growth of our alumni relations program.”

Smith will complete 25 years of service and is taking advantage of the option for early retirement.

“Words cannot express my gratitude for the opportunity I have had as part of the A-State alumni team,” said Smith.  “When I applied for a position in the Alumni Relations Office so many years ago, I never dreamed what it would mean to me personally and professionally. It has been an exceptional and tremendously rewarding experience but I’m looking forward to exploring what new chapters the future holds as a retiree,” she added.

During her tenure with the A-State Alumni Association, the percentage of alumni giving has led the Sun Belt Conference.  Among the major projects completed under her watch were the construction of the Cooper Alumni Center and the retirement of the bank loan to build the facility in just over five years. Named for alumni benefactors Darrell and Charlotte Pugh Cooper, this 20,000-square-foot center has housed facilities and activities of the Arkansas State University Alumni Association and the University Advancement division since opening in 2008.

“We appreciate the years of service and the devotion to Arkansas State that Beth has shown for her alma mater,” Vice Chancellor for Advancement Jason Penry said.  “I know that Beth is the face of Arkansas State to literally thousands of our alumni.  She will be missed, and we all wish her well.”

Penry will serve as the interim director of the Alumni Association for the next few months.  Arkansas State is currently in the process of a search for a new chancellor, and a permanent replacement for Smith will be selected after a new campus leader is in place.

A graduate of Arkansas State with both her bachelor and master degrees, Smith returned as a staff member in 1992, and became director of alumni relations in 1997.  She was elected to the international board of trustees of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) in July 2014 and will complete this three-year term in July.

CASE, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., is an international professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas.

Smith is a member of the board of directors of the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce and a Founder’s Circle member of the Women’s Business Leadership Center at A-State.  She is a past president and life member of Junior Auxiliary and a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International.

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