Mullens Family Pledges $1 Million for ATU

The Arkansas Tech University Foundation has received a pledge for one of the single largest gifts in the history of the institution.

Bert and Annette Mullens of Russellville have pledged a $1 million unrestricted gift to the ATU Foundation. Additionally, provisions in the trust call for annual gifts to be committed to benefit Arkansas Tech students through the existing scholarship in the Mullens’ name.

“We express our heartfelt appreciation to Mr. and Mrs. Mullens for this remarkable investment in their alma mater and our students,” said Dr. Robin E. Bowen, ATU president. “The philanthropy exhibited by the Mullens is to be admired and celebrated. Their family tradition at Tech dates back almost a century, and this gift ensures their legacy at our university will be secure for generations to come.”

Son of 1925 Arkansas Tech graduate Bert Charles Mullens, Bert Marshall Mullens earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Arkansas Tech in May 1951. The younger Mullens graduated just two months after Tech’s four-year college program was first accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

A member of the Wonder Boys baseball and football teams during his college days, Mullens went on to a 43-year career in banking that included service as president for First Security Bank in Searcy, First National Bank of Russellville, First Commercial Bank in Memphis, Tenn., and First City Bank of Memphis.

Since retiring as an active officer in 1994, Mullens has served as a board member as well as an executive committee member for Regions Bank in Russellville.

Mr. Mullens has served on the ATU Foundation Board of Directors and is a past president of the ATU Alumni Association. He helped organize Tech’s endowment fund drive in 1969, and he was the drive’s first national chairman.

Mrs. Mullens earned an associate’s degree in business from Arkansas Tech in 1948.

“There have only been a handful of occasions when Arkansas Tech University has had an opportunity to celebrate a gift as large and as meaningful as the one bestowed upon our institution by Mr. and Mrs. Mullens,” said Mike Hutchison, ATU vice president for advancement. “Private support is essential to Arkansas Tech’s mission of providing students with access to higher education and the opportunity to succeed. We are thankful for the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Mullens and their belief in the vision of Arkansas Tech University.”

Photographed (from left-to-right): Mike Hutchison, Arkansas Tech University vice president for advancement; Dr. Robin E. Bowen, ATU president; Bert Mullens, distinguished alumnus of ATU; and Charles Blanchard, chairman of the ATU Board of Trustees. 

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