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UALR’s First Campaign Tops $103 Million

It started with a goal of $75 million and launched at the start of the worst economic climate since the Great Depression. But today, UALR officials brought the institution’s first ever comprehensive fundraising campaign to a close, announcing a final tally of $103.6 million in gifts and pledges.

“The energy surrounding the announcement of UALR’s first-ever comprehensive campaign was unparalleled in the history of the university,” said campaign chair Haskell Dickinson. “The campaign reflects the enthusiasm and vision that will catapult Arkansas into a new era of economic growth.”

He announced the final results at an end-of-campaign celebration for top donors Tuesday evening, April 10, at the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall.

The seven-year campaign, “It’s Time for UALR,” created 211 new privately funded scholarships, added electrical and mechanical engineering options in the Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology (EIT), dramatically increased the number of nursing graduates by establishing the Willard and Pat Walker Nursing Scholarships, and founded the Stephen Harrow Smith Endowed Dean of Business.

The campaign received 15 gifts of more than $1 million, led by a $12 million gift from the George W. Donaghey Foundation and a $6 million gift for engineering from the Trinity Foundation.

A $1 million endowment from the Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable Trust established the Sturgis Charitable Trust Nanotechnology Chair. The resulting investiture of Dr. Alexandru S. Biris, director and chief scientist of the Nanotechnology Center at UALR, continues the trust’s legacy of education and economic advancement in Arkansas.

A gift from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation established the African American Male Initiative, a mentorship program that assists African American male students with retention and graduation at UALR.

Just as significant was the outstanding support that came from the UALR faculty and staff. Tallies show that three percent of the total campaign dollars came from gifts from UALR faculty and staff.

“Generous giving by our campus community set the stage for our comprehensive campaign,” said Bob Denman, vice chancellor for development and campaign manager. “Our success is due in part to their early campaign participation and leadership.”

A total of 18,605 donors participated in the campaign. The Office of Development processed a total of 103,306 gifts and pledges, 85 percent of which are already realized.

The original campaign goal of $75 million was achieved 18 months early. Buoyed by the early success, campaign leaders pressed ahead by raising the goal to $100 million, which was surpassed earlier this year.

Of the funds raised, 46 percent was dedicated to direct program support led by the Trinity Foundation’s $6 million for mechanical and electrical engineering programs.

Another 24 percent went to facility support, including helping to build and furnish the new Engineering and Information Technology Building, the completion of the Jack Stephens Center, the renovation of the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall, the new Trail of Tears Park, Coleman Park, and the Trojan Grill student restaurant.

Student support received 20 percent of the campaign’s total, primarily in the form of scholarships. Two-thirds of the new scholarship accounts are earmarked for endowment. UALR now has more than 2,000 privately funded scholarships awarding $1.1 million annually.

Faculty support received six percent of the funds, including endowments for the deans of the Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology (EIT), the William H. Bowen School of Law, the College of Business, and the chief scientist in the Nanotechnology Center.

The remaining four percent of the gifts were unrestricted.

“The stage is now set,” said Chancellor Joel E. Anderson. “We now have more donors and prospects engaged at the end of the campaign than the beginning or mid point, and we have built a philanthropic culture to serve the campus well into the future.

“Haskell L. Dickinson II led our volunteers with passion and discipline. He expected and received great volunteer support and spent countless hours with our development staff on solicitation calls. His enthusiasm for our mission was evident, giving not only his time but his hard-earned financial resources as well. His exemplary leadership is deeply valued and appreciated by our entire campus.”