Retired Entrepreneurship Professor Honored With 'Legacy Award'

Carol Reeves, U of A's former associate vice provost for entrepreneurship, received the Legacy Award last week in Las Vegas, Nevada, from the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers.
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Carol Reeves, U of A's former associate vice provost for entrepreneurship, received the Legacy Award last week in Las Vegas, Nevada, from the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers.

LAS VEGAS — When Carol Reeves first began developing entrepreneurship programs at the University of Arkansas, she and one other part-time person handled all the entrepreneurial activity on campus.

Last week in Las Vegas, seven team members from the U of A Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation were on hand as Reeves received a Legacy Award from the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers.

"When we got started ... the cost of sending seven team members to the GCEC conference exceeded our annual budget," Reeves mused.

The Global Consortium was established in 1997 to aid collaboration between university-based entrepreneurship centers in the U.S., and it's Legacy Award has been handed out since 2012 to those who have pioneered and directed a "university entrepreneurship center that created a legacy impact on the field of entrepreneurship," according to its website.

Reeves, who retired from the U of A in 2020 and was the impetus behind its flourishing entrepreneurship programs, praised the students, mentors and fellow team members that helped transform the entrepreneurial ecosystem at the university and across Arkansas.

"Our most important resource has always been our students," Reeves said. "They are incredibly hardworking, they're bright, and they're almost shockingly humble."

In thinking about her legacy, Reeves added that there are two groups she hopes to have impacted: students and the team that succeeded her.

"(The students) have transformed the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the state of Arkansas," Reeves said. "The depth and breadth of the programs that (OEI) created and that they run is just mind boggling to me."

Reeves joined the U of A in 1990 and became a professor in the Sam M. Walton College of Business, teaching courses in entrepreneurship and new venture development, international business, strategic management and negotiation. In 2005 she was appointed Cecil W. and Gwendolyn Stuckey Cupp Applied Professorship in Entrepreneurship.

Between 2009 and 2018, Reeves' student teams won more national business competitions than those from any other university in America. Reeves retired in 2020 as the associate vice provost for entrepreneurship.

The Consortium's Legacy Award was a fitting honor for Reeves, according to Anne O'Leary-Kelly, senior associate dean for faculty affairs and academic departments in the Walton College.

"To me, legacy implies something that is bigger than the sum of its parts. It's more than individual achievement. It suggests long-lasting impact and it suggests self-enriching impact," said O'Leary-Kelly, who collaborated often with Reeves.

"These are all characteristics that describe the impact that Carol Reeves has had on entrepreneurship and innovation in the state of Arkansas."

About the U of A Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation: The Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation creates and curates innovation and entrepreneurship experiences for students across all disciplines. Through the Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub, McMillon Innovation Studio, Startup Village, and Greenhouse at the Bentonville Collaborative, OEI provides free workshops and programs — including social and corporate innovation design teams, venture internships, competitions and startup coaching. A unit of the Sam M. Walton College of Business and Division of Economic Development, OEI also offers on-demand support for students who will be innovators within existing organizations and entrepreneurs who start something new.


Brandon Howard, communications and social media specialist
Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation


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