The Little Rock-based nonprofit City Connections Inc. recently dedicated a room in memory of Dr. Angela Laird Brenton, who served as former dean of the UALR College of Professional Studies.
The conference room will be used for collaborative gatherings, which is one of the reasons why they chose to name the space after Dr. Brenton, according to City Connections President Jeff Spry.
“In her life, Angi modeled a grace and warmth about her that was endearing,” Spry said.
“She especially understood the importance of building collaborative efforts when it came to working on social issues that were going to require a united effort.”
On display in the conference room is a commemorative plaque that reads, “In tribute to the life and work of Dr. Angi Brenton, ‘An exemplary educator… A peacemaker.'”
Brenton enjoyed a long and prolific career in higher education before her death in May 2013 at age 60. In August 2012, she left UALR to accept a position at Western Carolina University as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.
Committed to racial and ethnic justice, Dr. Brenton was a founding member of the Chancellor’s Committee on Race and Ethnicity.
She played a key leadership role in the Institute of Government Survey Research Center’s annual racial attitudes surveys and conferences.
She was central to the launch of the university’s Institute on Race and Ethnicity and also established a graduate certificate in conflict mediation at UALR in cooperation with the William H. Bowen School of Law.
She was an inaugural faculty member for the Clinton School of Public Service, where she taught a class on communication conflict management.
Brenton received a doctorate in communication studies from the University of Kansas, a master’s degree in communication from the University of Oklahoma, and bachelor’s degrees in mass communication and speech communication from Oklahoma Christian College.