BY LEANN DILBECK –
Union Bank of Mena recently made an investment to Southern Arkansas University to go towards its new state-of-the-art 30,000 s.f. Agricultural Center that opened in January.
The Chair of the Agriculture Department and former Union Bank employee Jeff Miller accepted the investment that will in turn give the bank the naming rights to Miller’s office.
“Union Bank is and always has been a class act…because they get it. They understand that giving back to the community is of the utmost importance,” said Miller. He explained that within a 60-mile square radius of Mena, there are 1,850 graduates from SAU. This year SAU will welcome approximately 10 incoming freshman students into its agriculture program from Polk County.
Union Bank President Phillip Hensley said, “It’s a semblance of our local economy…timber, cattle, poultry.” Chairman of the Board Ed Stevenson said, “We try very hard to have a good presence in the local schools and feel this is just another investment into the youth of this community.”
Miller said the money donated by the bank will help to provide an education for children who wouldn’t have had the opportunity otherwise and will be used to put equipment directly into the hands of students. “That’s what this bank has always been about is providing opportunity…the importance of education in high school and on the collegiate level is always there. You can see that by their level of commitment in Polk County.”
Miller was an employee of Union Bank from 1996 until 2005 when he left to take his new position at SAU. “We couldn’t have been more proud for Jeff when he was named the Chair of the Agriculture. It’s a God given talent and he’s doing what God intended him to do.”