Gov. Asa Hutchinson has appointed Thomas Leonard “Len” Cotton of Dardanelle to the Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees. His five-year term began in Jan. 15, 2020, and expires on Jan. 14, 2025. He succeeds Fritz Kronberger of Russellville, who was chairman of the ATU Board of Trustees in 2019. Kronberger served on the board from 2005-10 and 2015-20.
Cotton served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and earned the Army Commendation Medal, the Air Medal and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. He was a member of the committee that helped bring the Arkansas Vietnam Veterans Memorial to the State Capitol grounds in Little Rock.
He worked for the Arkansas Department of Health for 37 years, including service as district manager for the counties of Johnson, Logan, Pope and Yell from 2001 until the time of his retirement in 2009.
A long-time cattle farmer in Yell County, Cotton has rendered volunteer service as chairman of the American Legion Arkansas Boys State Commission and as a member of the Arkansas Veterans Commission, the Tri-County Regional Water Board, Dardanelle Rotary Club, the Dardanelle Chamber of Commerce, the Yell County Wildlife Federation, the Dardanelle City Youth Baseball Commission and the Dardanelle High School Athletic Booster Club.
Cotton has served as the public address announcer at Dardanelle High School football games for 30 years, and he is a lifelong member of First United Methodist Church of Dardanelle.
A 1963 graduate of Dardanelle High School, Cotton earned an Associate of Science degree from Arkansas Tech in 1965, a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture from the University of Arkansas in 1967 and a Master of Science degree from the University of Arkansas in 1971.
Cotton and his wife, Avis, are parents of Sarah Cotton Patterson, attorney and partner at Friday, Eldredge and Clark in Little Rock; and Tom Cotton, U.S. senator from Arkansas. Returning members of the ATU Board of Trustees for 2020 are Eric Burnett of Fort Smith, Stephanie Duffield of Russellville, Tom Kennedy of Little Rock and Jim Smith of Fayetteville.
-Tech Action, Fall 2020