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ENGAGED PHILANTHROPY
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Arkansas State University

As a proud graduate of Arkansas State University, David has donated his time, talents, and treasures to the school to support scholarships, academic development, and campus improvements. Through a partnership with NYC-based Steinway & Sons, David enabled ASU to receive a much-needed revamp to its music department. And through his board service on the ASU Foundation, David has helped oversee the University’s endowment fund.

ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY

One of the important milestones on our firm’s road to building a life of success and significance began with David’s graduation from Arkansas State University (ASU) in 1980. David served a member of the Alumni Board and provided funding for his fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon. Over the years, David has participated in charitable contributions and is a lifetime donor of the organization.

In 2004, David’s cousin, Robin Yates, asked for his assistance in developing a capital campaign to substantially upgrade the music department at ASU. Growing up in a musical family and having graduated from ASU, assisting the university in a capital campaign was an easy decision for David.

The music department at that time needed a serious upgrade, starting with the pianos. They were uninspiring, hopelessly worn-out remnants from the 1960s, that included one broken-down piano in the concert area as well as declining uprights in the rehearsal rooms. The poor status of the equipment made it difficult to recruit quality students into the Arkansas State music program, and thus far the fundraising efforts had not made much headway for improvements.

The music department leadership had no prior experience in capital campaigns, and David was tasked with helping provide structure for a campaign and provide advice, counsel, and instruction to committee members to execute the campaign. A key relationship that developed through the campaign was a partnership with Steinway & Sons. The catalyst for this relationship was a client, Rick Jefferies, who was the piano director at Amro Music. Through Rick, David made connections with Steinway. David and the ASU committee were invited to Steinway headquarters in Queens, New York where they received an in-depth understanding of the Steinway process of building exquisite, time-tested pianos. This collaboration with Steinway would eventually extend far beyond the ASU relationship.

After three years of successfully soliciting donors in a capital-raising campaign, the University acquired 27 Steinway pianos, with a goal to eventually purchase a total of 42.

This initiative continues today and has lent immense credibility and pride to the music department, giving donors an extra reason to support the school.

In 2019, David was asked to join the ASU Foundation board as well as serve as a member of the Joint Committee of University Investments. This committee is responsible for the strategic oversight and tactical management of the endowment fund which is in excess of $100 million. These funds provide capital to support scholarships, academic development, and campus improvements.

Over the past 30 years, philanthropic support for A-State and all of the ASU System campuses has grown significantly – so much so that the programs, facilities, research and other academic opportunities that were merely the dreams of those who created the ASU System Foundation are now realities.

Arkansas State University
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