Banker donates $50,000 for endowed fund at UALR, match doubles it

Larry Wilson, chairman, president, and CEO of First Arkansas Bank & Trust in Jacksonville, has donated $50,000 to an endowed fund in UALR’s College of Business.

Wilson’s generous gift to the Stephen Harrow Smith Endowed Dean’s Fund will be doubled with a match from the Donaghey Foundation, bringing the total value of the gift to $100,000.Larry Wilson

Wilson said he believes access to a strong educational foundation is key to economic growth for the area.

“Our family has always been interested in education, and UALR is a big part of that equation here in central Arkansas,” he said.

Wilson is the son of Kenneth Pat Wilson, founder of First Arkansas Bank & Trust, who pushed for a statewide organization to educate students about economics and finance.

In 2009, Wilson honored his father with a $100,000 gift to UALR’s College of Business to help fund the Kenneth Pat Wilson Center for Economic Education, which works to improve the economic and financial literacy of current and future Arkansas citizens.

“Mr. Wilson understands our mission to serve the region and state by providing excellent, applied business education,” said Stephen Harrow Smith Dean of Business Dr. Jane P. Wayland.

“We are grateful for his gift to the Donaghey match which enhances learning experiences for our students in the areas of professional development, career enhancement, and business competitions,” Wayland said.

Wilson served several years on the UALR Board of Visitors and is also a strong supporter of Trojan Athletics. His brother Mike, a former state legislator, is a current member of the UALR Board of Visitors.

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