Ben Rothwell started fighting back the tears as soon as he approached the microphone during the dedication ceremony for Rothwell Hall on Saturday afternoon.
He spoke of family, he spoke of love for his alma mater and he spoke of offering future generations the same opportunities that he and his wife, Terry Tucker Rothwell, found at Arkansas Tech University.
"As Terry and I thought about how we could share the blessings we've received, we could think of no better way to do that than to give back to students who are trying to better themselves," said Rothwell (photographed). "All that these kids who come to Arkansas Tech want to do is better themselves.
"Terry and I are so proud of this building, and so proud of what (Tech President Dr. Robert C. Brown) has done here," continued Rothwell. "You want to invest your money wisely, and we've bet on a winner by giving to Arkansas Tech."
Rothwell Hall is a 60,000-square foot facility that houses the Arkansas Tech College of Business, a regional office of the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center, the Arkansas Tech Academic Advising Center and two floors of classroom space.
It opened in January 2010, and on Homecoming Saturday 2010, Mr. and Mrs. Rothwell were honored for their support of Arkansas Tech.
"Our institution is about striving, overcoming and enabling success," said Brown. "I know of no couple whose life better exemplifies those characteristics than Ben and Terry Rothwell. They are connected to Arkansas Tech in so many ways. We are sincerely grateful for them."
Mr. Rothwell earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Arkansas Tech in 1975. Mrs. Rothwell is a 1974 Arkansas Tech graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in business education.