Harold Crye To Address ASU Graduates As Spring Commencement Speaker

Memphis, Tenn. – Harold E. Crye, chief executive officer of Crye-Leike, the largest real estate company in Tennessee and the Mid-South, will address graduating students of Arkansas State University as an alumnus at their spring commencement ceremony on May 11, 2001.

Over 900 students, who are candidates for degrees at the graduate and undergraduate levels, will be presented diplomas at this commencement. Arkansas State University (wwwastate.edu), which is based in Jonesboro, Ark., is a public institution of higher education offering a variety of programs leading to the associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. It serves students primarily from Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee and Mississippi, with enrollment at approximately 10,000 students annually.

Crye’s commencement speech will reinforce how this country is still a land of opportunity, talking from his experience as a first generation college student. “People say that America is no longer a land of opportunity, that it is no longer great,” said Crye. “I was a small town boy from Osceola, Arkansas who lived in a two-bedroom, one-bath house. My brother and I were the first in my family to get a high school diploma, much less a college degree. I feel that the opportunities I had to get an education and to take what I learned to establish my own business are testaments to what a great country this is.”

When asked what is the most important ingredient to his success, Crye feels the key is a willingness to take risks. “Staying successful is more about innovating new ways to tackle traditional problems,” remarks Crye. “Over the past 24 years, our company has built a reputation of providing total homeownership services for the consumer that add convenience, simplicity and efficiency to the home buying and selling process.  Each year, we grow stronger in our mission, expanding our vision and horizons, to offer a broader menu of services that improves the homeowner experience and satisfies consumer demand.”

As a full service real estate company, Crye-Leike offers real estate and related services, including: mortgage lending facilities; an insurance division, a commercial property division, a property leasing and management company, a home improvement division, a title company, an auction division, a relocation services company, franchise division, premier properties division and builder resources division.



Harold E. Crye graduated from Arkansas State University in 1967 with a bachelor of science degree in business administration. After college, he served as an officer in the United States Army stationed at Fort Lee, Virginia and Seoul, Korea from 1967 to 1969. After several years in corporate management, he decided to enter the real estate industry in 1973 as sales manager for a real estate firm in Memphis, Tenn.

Three years later, Crye, along with his partner, Dick Leike, established their own full service real estate company in 1976 in Memphis called Crye-Leike, Realtors. It became the largest real estate firm in Memphis within three years.  Arkansas State University’s College of Business recognized his achievements where he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1986. Crye-Leike operations were expanded in 1992 into the Middle Tennessee real estate market, becoming the largest firm in Nashville within one year.  Crye-Leike opened its third regional office in Chattanooga in 1997 and four years later, became the No. 1 market leader in the number of closed transactions, with agent growth and sales volume more than tripling.

Today, Crye-Leike is ranked No. 10 nationally among the nation’s top 500 residential real estate brokerage firms, as reported in May 2000 by REAL Trends Magazine. As a privately-held company, Crye-Leike has a network of over 52 branch offices, 2,100 sales associates and over 480 employees. It attained sales of nearly $3 billion corporatewide in 2000, the second best year in the company’s 23-year history.

Crye currently serves as president of Crye-Leike Insurance Agency and is a member of the board of directors of Homestore.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: HOMS), the leading supplier of online media and technology solutions to the home and real estate industries, serving both consumers and professionals. He also serves on the board of directors for the Memphis Better Business Bureau, First Trust Bank for Savings, Realty Title and RELO International. He was president of the Memphis Area Association of Realtors in 1991 and was selected by the association as Realtor of the Year in 1992. He holds the professional designations of certified residential specialist (CRS) and certified real estate brokerage manager (CRB).

Crye has served his community as charter president of the Germantown Jaycees and Germantown Exchange Club as well as president of the Chickasaw Council Boy Scouts of America in 1991.

The commencement ceremony begins at 7 p.m. and will be held at the ASU campus in the Convocation Center on Olympic Drive.