Ben J. Altheimer, a successful attorney and devoted friend to higher education, was born in Pine Bluff in 1878. He practiced law in Pine Bluff and moved to Chicago in 1910, where he established one of the most prestigious law firms in the city. He frequently returned to Arkansas to visit and involve himself in the farming operation near Altheimer. The town was named for his father and uncle, who donated land to the railroad for a depot.
Altheimer created the Ben J. Altheimer Foundation, a split-interest trust, which is divided between 35 individuals and trustee-selected charities. The Foundation has donated significant sums to UALR, UALR William H. Bowen School of Law, and others.
Ben J. Altheimer was the single trustee of the Foundation until his death in 1946, when five successor trustees designated by him assumed the responsibility for the continuation of the Foundation.
The Ben J. Altheimer Foundation:
The Ben J. Altheimer Foundation has a legacy of partnership with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, ranging from substantial gifts to the William H. Bowen School of Law to providing funding to aid research at the UALR College of Science and Mathematics.
The Foundation’s significant support for the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law was preceded by a gift in 1977 that helped renovate two courtrooms in the Old Federal Building in Little Rock for use by the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law.
In 1978, the Foundation began funding the Ben J. AltheimerSymposium (formerly the Ben J. Altheimer Lecture Series), which continues to bring prominent scholars to the School of Law to lecture on timely issues. The Foundation permanently endowed the symposium with a $200,000 gift.
The Ben J. Altheimer Distinguished Professorship was initiated in 1981 at the William H. Bowen School of Law. In 1995, the Foundation created a permanent endowment for the Ben J. Altheimer Distinguished Professorship with a $250,000 gift.