Julie Brown, a longtime supporter of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock from De Queen, has created an endowment that provides Chancellor Christina Drale with the opportunity to support annual priorities that benefit students at the university.
Brown, former president, chairman of the board, and owner of Southern LP Gas, has made a donation to establish the Julie Brown Chancellor’s Student Excellence Endowment. The donation, which promotes overall excellence and advancement of students at UA Little Rock, is the first gift made to the university where the funds will be distributed at the discretion of the chancellor.
The new endowment will make funds available for the chancellor of UA Little Rock to invest in areas of greatest impact and directly support the student experience. Funds may be used to support student travel, research, campus living, lab and classroom enhancements, scholarships, and life circumstances at UA Little Rock for generations to come.
“This gift is not only incredibly generous, but it is unique in that it covers the full range of the student experience at UA Little Rock,” Chancellor Drale said. “We can use it to support high impact learning experiences, improvements to the living and learning environment, and also for scholarships and emergency funds to reduce barriers to opportunity. With this endowment, we can truly focus on areas of greatest need and the greatest impact at any given time. I am deeply grateful for this investment in student success at our institution.”
A 1993 graduate of UA Little Rock with a bachelor’s degree in history, Brown has a long history of giving back to the university. In 2016, she created an endowed scholarship in memory of her grandmother, Lou Ellen Gray, that provides scholarships to students from Sevier County. She also supported an emergency student fund in honor of James Hendren, the former CEO and chairman of Euronet, that was created to help students in need at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I truly believe in the transformative power of higher education,” Brown said. “Everyone should have the opportunity to get an education and achieve their goals in life. I was lucky enough to attend UA Little Rock without financial difficulty, but I know that not every person is that lucky. This is an opportunity for me to pay it forward to help more students get ahead in life by completing their education.”