The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has raised nearly $500,000 for endowed scholarship funds for art and design students.
Tom Clifton, dean of the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences, announced the scholarship campaign progress during a Feb. 23 topping out ceremony at the site of the future Windgate Center of Art + Design, located on the northeast corner of campus off 28th Street near Fair Park and Boulevard.
“The Windgate Center is the culmination of a 22-year relationship with the Windgate Foundation,” Clifton said. “As our commitment, the university has promised to raise $3 million in scholarships for students attending this art school.”
Construction is 25 percent complete on the new state-of-the-art educational facility scheduled to be completed in November and open Jan. 8, 2018. The new center is funded by a $20.3 million gift from the Windgate Charitable Foundation. After the new building was announced, the university launched a $3 million endowed scholarship campaign to make art and design education more affordable to students.
During the ceremony, Nabholz construction officials raised a 400-pound beam — signed by Robyn Horn of the Windgate Charitable Foundation, Chancellor Andrew Rogerson and his wife, Janessa, as well as donors and art faculty — to the top floor of the Windgate Center. The American and Arkansas flags as well as a ceremonial tree lie on top of the beam.
The Windgate Center shows the university’s commitment to providing a high-quality and affordable educational experience for art and design students in central Arkansas.
“Current studies are showing that creative industries account for about one in six jobs,” Rogerson said. “It’s imperative that we include liberal arts as an equally valuable education component. Today, employers are seeking students with an arts and design background. They have the skills for a creative workforce, and employers value abilities in communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and problem solving.”
In addition to educational programs in art and design, the Windgate Center will provide non-credit classes open to the community as well as art exhibitions, workshops, and lectures. The Windgate Center will become a premier gathering place for the arts in Little Rock.
The ceremony was broadcast live on Facebook and a replay can be viewed at Facebook/ualr.edu.
Contact the UA Little Rock Office of Alumni and Development at 501-916-5106 or visit Ualr.edu/development to support art and design scholarship at UA Little Rock.
In the upper right photo, donors, art faculty, and administrators sign the beam that marks the highest point of the Windgate Center of Art + Design at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Pictured, from left to right, are Win Bruhl, Deborah Baldwin, Belinda Schultz, Janessa Rogerson, and Anne Mourning. Photo by Lonnie Timmons III/UA Little Rock Communications.