A woman who has dedicated her life to helping underserved populations in Arkansas gain access to better health care, education, food, and community-based services is the 2016 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Elaine Eubank is the president and chief executive officer of Easter Seals Arkansas, a nonprofit organization that helps more than 20,000 Arkansas children and adults with disabilities per year.
She will receive the UALR Alumni Association’s highest honor at a luncheon beginning at 11:30 a.m. Friday, May 13, at the Great Hall in the Clinton Presidential Center.
Joining Eubank is the 2016 UALR Presidents Award recipient, Paul Nolte, a veteran entrepreneur of the election industry and a dedicated volunteer and member of the UALR Alumni Association. This award is bestowed on individuals with career success and a profound dedication to the university.
Christian O’Neal, vice chancellor for advancement, hailed the award winners as two wonderful UALR alumni who are committed to their alma mater and dedicated to serving their community.
“Elaine Eubank has achieved extraordinary distinction in her career and made extraordinary contributions to Little Rock, to the university, and to the citizens of the state,” O’Neal said. “The Presidents Award winner, Paul Nolte, has achieved remarkable success in his career and has donated hours upon hours of time and talent to the university and to Little Rock.”
The event is hosted by the UALR Foundation Fund Board and the UALR Alumni Association.
Elaine Eubank has dedicated more than 35 years working in public health and nonprofit organizations. She was the first person in her family to attend college, an opportunity she says was possible because of her parents’ hard work.
After graduating from UALR with a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1975, Eubank served as the director of women’s health at the Arkansas Department of Health, where she supervised the operation of 10 public health programs serving approximately 80,000 patients and with an annual budget of $25 million.
She next served as the assistant director of the Arkansas Division of Aging and Adult Services, where she oversaw 10 statewide programs operated by more than 50 nonprofit agencies.
In 1992, Eubank moved to the nonprofit sector to become the president of CareLink, which provides resources for older people and their families in central Arkansas. Beginning with a staff of 400 employees and an annual budget of $4.5 million, Eubank helped the organization grow to almost 800 employees with an annual budget of $17 million.
After 22 years at CareLink, Eubank became the president and CEO of Easter Seals Arkansas in 2015. Easter Seals provides life-changing services that help children and adults with disabilities reach their full potential.
Arkansas Business named her one of the Top 100 Women in Arkansas in 1995, and she is a former board member of the Rotary Club of Little Rock. She is a member of Second Presbyterian Church and the UALR Alumni Association.
Eubank and her husband, Alfred Williams, have been married for more than 30 years and have two children and three grandchildren. She enjoys reading, gardening, and watersports, especially stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking with her dogs Winston and Daisy.
Paul Nolte is a veteran entrepreneur of the election industry and a dedicated volunteer and member of the UALR Alumni Association. He has modernized the association’s scholarship application process and investments, ensuring that the association will be able to provide scholarships for generations of future Trojans.
Nolte graduated in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a minor in advertising. When he returned to UALR to pursue courses in technology, databases, and computer coding in 2009, Nolte began volunteering at the Alumni Association and was soon serving on the board of directors.
He has since served two, three-year terms, and is the immediate past chair of the Scholarship Committee.In his role as chair, he completely automated the scholarship system for the association, modernizing the application and interview processes, as well as planning and budgeting the scholarships up until 2024.
Previously, the association gave out one-time scholarships to students. Thanks to Nolte’s dedicated work, the association now awards an increasing amount of continuing scholarships that follow students through their entire academic career at UALR.
Nolte is also a beekeeper as well as a Master Gardener, whose current project is the Governor’s Mansion Vegetable Garden. He and his wife, Diana, are avid travelers who love to spend time with their three daughters, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.