Drivetime Sports

New Pre-Game Ceremony Starts with Arkansas and Alabama

9/22/2010 5:45 PM

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Razorback Athletics will honor the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation in the inaugural “A” Walk of Honor ceremony this weekend prior to the Arkansas-Alabama football game at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

                One of the biggest thrills of any Razorback football student-athlete’s career is “Running through the A” prior to kickoff at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. As players sprint side by side with their teammates through the special band formation, more than 70,000 Razorback fans roar their passionate approval as the team runs onto the field. The renewal of this time-honored tradition still generates a special feeling for former Razorback football lettermen even decades after their final collegiate snap.  

While “Running through the A” is a tradition reserved only for members of the Razorback football team, Razorback Athletics has created a new program to honor those individuals or groups who have played a significant role in the support of Razorback Athletics. Honorees will be invited to participate in this unique pre-game experience and will be recognized on the video board and over the public address system as they walk through the “A” formed by the Razorback Marching Band. After completing the walk, the honorees will help complete the “A” before welcoming Coach Bobby Petrino and the Arkansas Razorback football team on the field just prior to kickoff.

                “’Running through the A’ has been a long-time tradition for the University of Arkansas football team,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long says. “The ‘A’ Walk of Honor provides a meaningful way to recognize other key members of the Razorback team who have played a pivotal role in the success of our program. It is certainly appropriate we begin by honoring the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. The generosity of the Foundation and its trustees has been instrumental in the growth of Razorback Athletics including a signature gift that made the expansion of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium possible.”

                The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation has been an active supporter of both the Razorbacks and the University of Arkansas including a $21 million gift for the renovation and expansion of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium and most recently a $10 million grant to the University of Arkansas’ Fay Jones School of Architecture. 

In 2001, Reynolds Foundation chairman Fred W. Smith and his wife Mary B. Smith were awarded the distinguished service award as part of the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor. Mary was an avid Arkansas fan and had a collection of nearly 1,500 items relating to the Razorbacks. 

Representing the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation in the ‘A’ Walk of Honor will be trustees Fred W. Smith, Wes Smith, Steve Anderson and John Schlereth.

Representing the late Mary Smith in the ceremony and assuming the role as the family’s No. 1 Razorback fan is her granddaughter Katie Magness.



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