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Estate Gift from Ezra and Verbeth Coe Will Support Engineering Professorship


JONESBORO – Knowing the importance of private gifts in support of higher education, a Tuckerman couple who supported Arkansas State University in numerous ways has left an estate gift that ultimately will benefit students by enriching their academic experience.

The late Henry Ezra and Verbeth Coe were among the most loyal of Arkansas State fans -- and not just of the Red Wolves, but also the College of Engineering.

The Coes were prominent citizens in Tuckerman and Jackson County for many years. Mr. Coe was a 1938 graduate of Arkansas State College with a degree in civil engineering, while Mrs. Coe was a native of East Texas and graduate of today's Texas Woman's University.  While she remained proud of her roots throughout her lifetime, she joined her husband in supporting Arkansas State students in many ways.

The couple's planned estate gift of $250,000 was designated toward establishing an endowed professorship in engineering.

"They believed strongly in the value of an education – Mrs. Coe was an English teacher – and encouraged every young person they came into contact with to get one," explained Jerry Burchfield, the accountant for the Coe Estate.

The College of Engineering will use the Coe estate gift to establish the Verbeth and Henry Ezra Coe Professorship of Engineering.

"Endowed professorships provide the means to attract, honor and retain distinguished faculty members in a highly competitive field within higher education and our state – engineering," commented Dr. Paul Mixon, interim dean of the College of Engineering.  "The Verbeth and Henry Ezra Coe Professorship of Engineering will help attract a nationally recognized engineering professor of merit to Jonesboro.”

After he retired from a career in civil engineering, Coe founded and operated C & D Corporation in Tuckerman for many years.  The corporation developed residential property in the area and later operated a hardware store in Tuckerman.

Generous donors to the university for many years, the Coes' previous gifts to A-State include a recently announced estate gift in support of the Centennial Bank Stadium expansion.  Earlier gifts included a bell in the Dean B. Ellis Library carillon, and the H. E. Coe Endowment Trust, which provides scholarships for student athletes.

The couple was inducted into the university's Legacy Society in 2003.

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