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East Valley loses another long-time founder


May 17, 2007

MESA, Ariz. — Eldon W. Cooley, a former Mesa mayor and prominent farmer in the East Valley, may have passed away May 15, but his legend at Arizona State University will live on for years to come.

In addition to serving as mayor of Mesa, he was a member of the Mesa City Council for nearly 20 years, and was honored as Mesa's Man of the Year, along with many other accomplishments.

Lifetime Arizona residents, Eldon and his wife Elona have worked to advance their community throughout their lives, including their support for education. As part of their efforts, they have made numerous gifts to the Polytechnic campus to establish scholarships, support redevelopment efforts and student programs.

In 1999, Eldon and Elona Cooley supported ASU through their gift to establish the Eldon and Elona Cooley Endowed Scholarship for students enrolled in the Morrison School of Management and Agribusiness. In 2004, they made a second gift to name a plaza on the Charles E. Backus Mall at ASU's Polytechnic campus. In 2006, Elona and Eldon made a gift to name the ballroom in the Student Union. And another gift was made in 2006 to support the Student Leadership program in Student Affairs.

“Eldon’s legacy will live on through his gifts for generations of students to come. I and many others will miss him greatly,” said Albert McHenry, ASU vice president and executive vice provost of the Polytechnic campus.
Viewing for Eldon Cooley will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., May 18, at Bunker Family Funeral Homes Garden Chapel, 33 N. Centennial Way, Mesa. Services will be at 10 a.m., May 19 at the Mesa East Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 2228 E. Brown Road, Mesa.