Carol Reeves, former U of A Associate Vice President for Entrepreneurship, received the Legacy Award from the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers last week in Las Vegas, Nevada.
LAS VEGAS – When Carol Reeves began developing entrepreneurship programs at the University of Arkansas, she and another part-time employee oversaw all entrepreneurial activities on campus.
Last week in Las Vegas, seven team members from the U of A Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation were present when Reeves received a Legacy Award from the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers.
“When we started…the cost of sending seven team members to the GCEC conference exceeded our annual budget,” Reeves reflected.
The Global Consortium was formed in 1997 to support collaboration between university entrepreneurship centers across the United States, and its Legacy Award has been presented since 2012 to those who have pioneered and run a “University Entrepreneurship Center” that has made a lasting impact on the field had entrepreneurship,” it says on its website.
Reeves, who retired from U of A in 2020 and was the impetus for its thriving entrepreneurship programs, praised the students, mentors and other team members who have helped transform the entrepreneurial ecosystem at the university and across Arkansas.
“Our most important resource has always been our students,” Reeves said. “They’re incredibly hardworking, they’re smart, and they’re almost frighteningly humble.”
Reflecting on her legacy, Reeves added that there are two groups she hopes have influenced: students and the team that will succeed her.
“[The students]have transformed the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the state of Arkansas,” Reeves said. “The depth and breadth of the programs that (OEI) have built and are running is simply stunning to me.”
Reeves joined U of A in 1990 and became a professor at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, where he taught courses in Entrepreneurship and New Venture Development, International Business, Strategic Management and Negotiation. In 2005 she was appointed to the Cecil W. and Gwendolyn Stuckey Cup Applied Professorship in Entrepreneurship.
Between 2009 and 2018, Reeves student teams won more national business competitions than any other university in America. Reeves retired as Associate Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship in 2020.
According to Anne O’Leary-Kelly, senior associate dean for faculty affairs and academic departments at Walton College, the Consortium’s Legacy Award was a fitting honor for Reeves.
“For me, legacy implies something greater than the sum of its parts. It’s more than an individual achievement. It suggests long-lasting effects and it suggests self-enriching effects,” said O’Leary-Kelly, who has often worked with Reeves.
“These are all qualities that describe the impact 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 of all disciplines. Through the Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub, McMillon Innovation Studio, Startup Village and the Greenhouse at the Bentonville Collaborative, OEI offers free workshops and programs – including social and corporate innovation design teams, venture internships, competitions and startup coaching. A division of the Sam M. Walton College of Business and Division of Economic Development, OEI also provides on-demand support for students who will be innovators in existing organizations and entrepreneurs starting something new.