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University of Arkansas at Little Rock

UALR mourns loss of Professor Emeritus Dr. James H. Fribourgh

The UALR campus is mourning the loss of Professor Emeritus Dr. James H. Fribourgh, who passed away on Thursday, March 6, 2014.

The funeral was held Monday, March 10, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Little Rock. The family requests memorials be made to the James H. Fribourgh Scholarship at UALR.

Fribourgh spent more than 45 years at UALR, joining the faculty of what was then known as Little Rock Junior College in 1949, after earning his Ph.D. at the State University of Iowa.

Over the next 40-plus years, he took on a variety of campus leadership roles, serving as chair of life sciences, interim chancellor on two occasions, and vice chancellor for academic affairs from 1969-1984.

James FribourghThe University of Arkansas Board of Trustees named him Distinguished Professor of Biology in 1984. In addition, the Natural Sciences Building at UALR was renamed the James H. Fribourgh Hall to honor him upon his retirement in 1994.

UALR Chancellor Joel E. Anderson, who was hired by Dr. Fribourgh, remained in touch with him long after Fribourgh retired.

“Dr. Jim Fribourgh was an outstanding teacher, university leader, and a very dear friend,” said Anderson.

“His kindness and good humor were blessings in the lives of all of us who knew and worked with him. He was a major presence on this campus for more than 40 years, and virtually everything good about this university bears his imprint.  All of us in the university community are in his debt.”

“He was the cornerstone of UALR, no doubt,” said Janis Chandler Brooke, who worked for Dr. Fribourgh for 16 years. “People looked to him for advice and comfort. There wasn’t anyone who didn’t love and respect him.”

To honor Fribourgh’s outstanding contributions to UALR and the state’s science community, the Fribourgh Award was created in 2010, and Fribourgh was named its first recipient.

The award continues to extend recognition to those who have met the high standards set by Fribourgh. This year’s recipient, Peter Banko, president and chief executive officer of St. Vincent Health System, will receive the award on March 20.

Every year, the event raises additional funding for science scholarships at UALR, including The James H. Fribourgh Endowed Biology Scholarship.

Fribourgh, a member of the Little Rock Rotary, was not only an advocate of education, but also of community involvement. The James H. Fribourgh Rotary Club 99 Scholarship is awarded by the UALR Office of Development to a UALR student majoring in either science or general studies.