An endowed fund in honor of U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Eisele has been established at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to promote a better understanding of the role of the federal courts and judiciary system in Arkansas.
An announcement and reception was held June 25 at the Arkansas Studies Institute with Judge Eisele and many of his former law clerks in attendance.
The fund provides for scholarly study at the professional, graduate, or undergraduate level, as well as internship opportunities or public programming. The official name of the fund is the G. Thomas Eisele Endowment for the Study of the History of the United States Federal Courts in Arkansas.
Former law clerk Peter Kumpe, now a partner at Williams & Anderson, noted that several of Judge Eisele’s past clerks responded enthusiastically to helping fund an archive of the judge’s papers held by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies.
“Working with one of the great trial judges of our time was a peak experience in every one of the professional careers of the judge’s clerks,” Kumpe said.
“The scholarship and education enabled by this gift will elevate and perpetuate the values he exemplifies, which so influenced each one of us.”
The Eisele papers include correspondence, case files, research material, speeches, and newspaper clippings during his tenure as district judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Eisele was nominated by President Richard M. Nixon and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Aug. 5, 1967.
He took senior status on Aug. 1, 1991, but continued to administer a reduced docket and hear cases until shortly after his 41st anniversary on the federal bench in September 2011.
Contributions to the endowment will pay for the processing of his papers and support the work of the UALR Center for History and Culture.