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University of Arkansas at Little Rock

UALR’s Finale to Honor Dr. B. Alan and Jean Sugg April 23

UALR will honor Dr. B. Alan and Jean Sugg at the sixth annual Finale, benefiting the university’s arts programs. The gala begins at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 23, in the Jack Stephens Center.

Sugg, president of the University of Arkansas Systems since 1990, will retire on June 30 of this year.

Finale celebrates the arts in central Arkansas and is the premier fundraising event for UALR’s arts programs. The dinner gala features performances and artwork by students.

This year’s performance, “Two Tickets to Broadway,” will be a dance revue of popular musicals. Proceeds from the event benefit UALR’s art, music, and theatre arts and dance students and programs.

Craig O’Neill, news anchor of Today’s THV, will serve as master of ceremonies. This is his fourth year to host the event.

“We are pleased to honor Dr. and Mrs. Sugg as well as the legacy they will leave for the university system,” said Deborah Baldwin, dean of the UALR College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. “They have been supporters of our arts programs over the years and have attended many of our concerts, performances, and gallery exhibitions.”

The Suggs met while they were junior high students in what is now the Helena-West Helena school system, where she was a tap and ballet dancer, and he played trombone for the concert band.

While attending the University of Arkansas, Mrs. Sugg became a Razorback majorette, and Dr. Sugg joined the pole vault team. They married after receiving their bachelor’s degrees.

After graduation, Sugg was commissioned in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany. Their oldest daughter Katie was born in Heidleberg and their second daughter, Jenifer, was born in Fort Hood, Texas. The Suggs are the grandparents to two grandsons, Jackson and Mitchell White, who are Jenifer’s children.

Later, Sugg returned to UA for his master’s degree in education and went on to the University of Oklahoma for his Ph.D. in higher education administration.

Prior to becoming UA System president, Sugg worked in higher education in Texas for 22 years, including 13 years as president of Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. Currently, he is the chairperson of the Arkansas Biosciences Institute.

Jean Sugg received her bachelor’s degree in business from UA. She served six years on the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Board and was president of the Junior League Sustainers Board.

Dr. and Mrs. Sugg have hosted dozens of programs, events, and fundraisers for universities across the UA System, for which Mrs. Sugg has often provided the fare from her own kitchen.

Presenting sponsor of the 2011 event is Glazer’s Distributors of Arkansas. Premier sponsors include Chip and Cindy Murphy and Simmons First National Bank, and sustaining sponsors are Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield and Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

Arts organizations from around the region lend their support to Finale each year. This year’s participating arts partners are Accademia dell’Arte, Arkansas Arts Center, Arkansas Festival Ballet, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.

Reservations to Finale are $150 each. Call 501-569-3296 for more information.