NACOGDOCHES — The Stephen F. Austin State University Board of Regents has named a new academic center and facility in the university’s Rusche College of Business after Greg Arnold, CEO of The Arnold Companies, whose donation is being used to establish the center.
Officially launched this summer, the Greg Arnold Center for Entrepreneurship will be housed beginning in January in a remodeled space in the McGee Business Building. It’s managed in cooperation with entrepreneurship program faculty members in SFA’s Department of Management and Marketing.
“The establishment of the Greg Arnold Center for Entrepreneurship will enable new collaboration across a variety of academic disciplines as well as new avenues for partnership with businesses and industry throughout the state,” said SFA interim President Steve Westbrook. “The activities and opportunities this center will create are almost limitless in scope. This is the right type of initiative at exactly the right time, and all of us at SFA are grateful for Greg Arnold’s dynamic leadership and vision.”
Arnold said he hopes the center will help SFA students develop the skills not only to create successful businesses of their own but also assist East Texans and SFA alumni in building and sustaining their businesses.
“Having the opportunity to give back to those who supported me early in my life such as SFA makes this journey much more worthwhile,” he said. “Helping create the Center for Entrepreneurship at SFA benefits students, businesses and many Texans. The like-minded nature and collaboration that can grow out of a place with the right resources will be compounded to those learned in the traditional classroom.
“It is my hope we keep growing the spirit and action of Lumberjacks for many years in order to build the communities we call home in East Texas and across the great state of Texas,” he added. “By creating and supporting SFA through the Center for Entrepreneurship, we can make a bigger impact together.”
The Arnold Companies is a multi-business company built on a foundation of wholesale petroleum distribution and aviation services. It had almost 1,000 employees under the names TACenergy, TAC Air and TAC Private Hangars until July 1 of this year, when the aviation companies were acquired by Signature Flight Support, the world’s largest network of fixed-based operators.
After more than 30 years with TAC, Arnold continues to lead company growth with 150 employees in 13 US offices featuring TACenergy LLC and several private investment entities.
Arnold received a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing from SFA in 1987.
Initially, the center will offer mentoring, scholarships and internships for students; travel to competitions and field trips; support for SFA’s Society for Entrepreneurial Advancement; and funding for the campuswide Lumberjack Entrepreneurship Competition inspired by the ABC TV show “Shark Tank.”
The center also will advance its mission through services provided to East Texas businesses by center staff, faculty members and SFA students under the direction of faculty members.
For information on SFA’s entrepreneurship program, visit sfasu.edu/mgtmkt.