Alumnus Honors Mentor With Gift for Leon’s Lounge

Leon Anderson and Jamie Sorrells
Photographed: Leon Anderson (left), namesake of Leon's Lounge at Arkansas Tech University, and Jamie Sorrells (right), lead benefactor for the establishment of the players' lounge inside the Hull Physical Education Building.

Arkansas Tech University alumnus Jamie Sorrells of Russellville has provided the lead gift in a fund-raising project to establish a space named Leon’s Lounge inside the football facility at the Hull Physical Education Building.

The players’ lounge will be named for Leon Anderson, who played football at Arkansas Tech from 1965-68, was the starting quarterback on the Wonder Boys’ 1968 Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference championship team and served as head football coach at ATU from 1976-79. Anderson has remained a fan of and supporter of Arkansas Tech athletics during his more than 40-year career in the insurance business.

“As you look back, you find people who had a big influence on turning points in your life,” said Sorrells. “In the spring of my senior year in high school, Leon offered me an opportunity to walk on at Arkansas Tech and play football. I didn’t know if I was going to college or not, so that gave me the motivation to go. By the end of the first semester, he’d offered me a full scholarship that paid my way through school and set the foundation for my life. I got in the oil and gas business through a friend on the football team and ended up meeting my wife as part of that business. I look back and ask ‘how did that all happen?’ It’s because Leon Anderson gave me an opportunity and the encouragement to make the most of it.”

Sorrells’ gift will help ATU convert the current lettermen’s area in the Hull Building into a reimagined players’ lounge. Enhancements will include new flooring, seating areas, televisions, gaming consoles and computers.

Those who wish to support the Leon’s Lounge project may do so by donating online at, dropping off a donation in ATU Administration Building room 209 or calling (479) 968-0400.