Sheila and Gene Castin have been married 37 years and you can tell in the way they tease each other that they are comfortable and happy in their relationshipâ€¦so much so that they share an art studio and frequently collaborate on paintings, many of which can be found on the walls of their woodland home.
Another great passion they share is for educationâ€¦and UALR in particular.Â Sheila is a 1989 College of Business graduate with a degree in management, and although Gene didnâ€™t get his degrees from UALR, as the owner of an architectural firm, he knows firsthand how important a university like UALR is to large and small companies in a metropolitan setting. Â
Gene easily went along with the decision to support Sheilaâ€™s alma mater, joking that it was â€śeasier than paying alimony,â€ť but in the next breath he very seriously shares that he and Sheila believe itâ€™s not enough to just talk about the importance of education. They want to put their money where their mouth is and theyâ€™ve done just that.
Avid supporters of Trojan basketball, you can find Sheila and Gene sitting courtside and cheering wildly for the team. Year after year, they give their time and financial resources in support of our student athletes, and are particularly pleased that the program keeps a strong emphasis on education while building a winning team.
Sheilaâ€™s involvement with UALR has spanned over two decades.Â Sheâ€™s been president of the Trojan Tip-In Club, headed up the Alumni Association, worked on various other committees across campus, and is currently serving on the UALR Foundation Fund Board.Â Itâ€™s no surprise that her photograph hangs in the Bailey Alumni and Friends Center boardroom as UALRâ€™s 1997 Presidentâ€™s Award recipient.
The Castins took one more step in cementing their commitment to UALR when they became members of the UALR Heritage Society after creating a gift by bequest that will be unrestricted in its use. Since most bequests target a specific program or scholarship, Sheila and Gene felt that a gift given with â€śno strings attachedâ€ť would be of great benefit.
UALR and the greater Little Rock community are better today because of the contributions this power couple has made, and they are far from finished, which is a very fortunate thing for all of us!