Governor Asa Hutchinson has appointed Laura Winning of Little Rock to a five-year term on the Southern Arkansas University Board of Trustees. A Magnolia native with deep family ties to SAU, Winning said she looks forward to continuing the University’s record of success as a new Board member.
“I consider it a great honor to be named to the Board,” Winning said. “I have a heart for this University.”
A direct example of her close personal connection to SAU can be found in the Lusby Hospitality Pavilion at the SAU Alumni Center. The pavilion was dedicated to her parents, Edsel and Geraldine, in 2017. “My parents both taught at SAU,” Winning said. “The Lusby Hospitality Pavilion is a symbol of the heart of SAU and a testament to the University and people of Magnolia.”
Winning received her business degree from SAU and has many fond memories of the campus, growing up, and being a student. “We lived in faculty housing across from the tennis courts,” she recalled, “and one of my odd jobs was driving a tractor and spraying Orval Child’s cows for horseflies! He was Mr. Agriculture in Arkansas, and SAU still benefits from his legacy.”
She has a passion for agriculture as well as the Nursing Department, where her mother taught. Her background at SAU includes having worked as a secretary for Dr. David Rankin, former SAU president. “I am very appreciative of the time that my mentors invested in me,” she said.
Winning called her educational experience at SAU “a huge blessing. Smaller class sizes meant my teachers got to know me. I worked three jobs to get through school and graduated with no debt. For me, SAU was always family taking care of family. It helped me find my path in life.”
SAU has experienced tremendous growth over the years which Winning plans to continue as a Board member. “I think Dr. Trey Berry is the right man for our times,” she said of SAU’s current president. “He realizes that if SAU is going to continue as a beacon of light for Columbia County, innovation is necessary.”