Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics (Walt Beazley)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - Former Razorback track and field student-athlete Eddie Black and his wife Sissi will participate in the "A" Walk of Honor on Saturday prior to Arkansas' football game against Louisiana-Lafayette at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Eddie and Sissi are graduates of the University of Arkansas and have been long-time benefactors of the institution and athletics. The Blacks recently made substantial gifts for the construction of the new Baseball and Track Indoor Training Facility and for additions to John McDonnell Field, which will help celebrate the rich legacy of the Razorback men's and women's track and field programs.
The Blacks are members of the Towers of Old Main and the Razorback Foundation's Century Circle. The Century Circle recognizes former Razorback student-athletes who make a gift of $100,000 or more to the athletic program. Sissi is also a member of the University of Arkansas' Women's Giving Circle.
"We are pleased to recognize Eddie and Sissi Black as part of the "A" Walk of Honor for their support of Razorback Athletics," Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. "As a member of the Century Circle, they are shining examples of former student-athletes who have chosen to actively support current Razorback student-athletes in their pursuit of success on and off the field. The most recent gift by the Blacks will also allow us to celebrate our unparalleled track and field tradition and further honor the legacy of Coach John McDonnell at the facility bearing his name. We appreciate the Blacks' loyal support and look forward to them greeting Coach Bielema and our football team as they take the field for the 2013 season opener."
A Bentonville native, Eddie is a former track and field student-athlete, transferring to the University of Arkansas after a successful track and field career at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College (CCC). While at CCC, Black competed for Coach Dean Pryor, a former Razorback football and track and field letterman. Black credits Pryor with getting him an opportunity to compete at Arkansas where he lettered in 1959-60. Black competed in the 800-meter and mile run and was a member of the Razorbacks' 1959 Southwest Conference champion cross country team.
Following their time at Arkansas, Eddie went on to a successful professional career including working 39 years in a family owned Northeast Arkansas grocery store business run by Sissi's family based in Osceola. Sissi is a native of Blytheville.
"Running through the A" is one of the Razorbacks' most storied football traditions. While "Running through the A" is a tradition reserved only for members of the Razorback football team, Razorback Athletics created a program in 2010 to honor those individuals or groups who have played a significant role in the support of Razorback Athletics.
Honorees are invited to participate in this unique pre-game experience and are 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, honorees help complete the "A" before welcoming the Arkansas Razorback football team on the field just prior to kickoff. Honorees will also be inducted into the "A" Walk of Honor Hall of Fame.
Previous honorees have included members of the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, former Arkansas coach and athletic director Frank Broyles, the Willard and Pat Walker family, Jim Lindsey, Bob and Marilyn Bogle, Boyce Billingsley, Stacy Lewis and the Jennings Osborne family.
Tickets for Saturday's game at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium start are still available online at ArkansasRazorbacks.com or by contacting the Razorback Ticket Office at 1-800-982-HOGS (4647). Tickets begin at $45. Kickoff for the game is set for 3:08 p.m.