The 14th annual Taste of Little Rock alumni fundraising eventwill honor the Bailey Family for their decades of support to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Set for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 27, at the Jack Stephens Center, Taste of Little Rock raises funds for student scholarships while introducing guests to some of the best food in the city from the finest restaurants in Little Rock.
Led by patriarch Dr. Ted Bailey II, the family is composed of long-time supporters of UA Little Rock and higher education. Dr. Bailey serves as president of the Bailey Foundation. Additional family board members include Dr. Bailey’s wife, Sharon, and children, Mary Bailey Shafer, Ted Bailey III, Jo Bailey McCray, John Bailey, and Amy Bailey. Virginia Bailey, who was married to Dr. Bailey for nearly 58 years when she passed away in 2003, also served on the board.
“The Bailey name is synonymous with higher education opportunities at UA Little Rock,” said Christian O’Neal, vice chancellor for university advancement. “Their gifts over the years truly keep on giving through student scholarships, faculty awards for excellence, and the Bailey Alumni and Friends Center, the central gathering for our alumni and friends of the university.
“It is very fitting that we honor the members of the Bailey family who are so integral to this university.”
The Baileys have long invested in the university as a way to give back to and help grow the community. Dr. Bailey is one of the university’s earliest supporters, having founded the Society of Philanthropy, a precursor to the current Chancellor’s Circle.
“My family has always had a passion for education and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock,” Dr. Ted Bailey said. “This university is an essential part of the community, and I have been privileged to watch it grow and reach its potential as I have watched my own children and grandchildren grow over the years.”
In 2002, a generous donation by the Bailey Family Foundation facilitated the construction of the Bailey Alumni and Friends Center, named after Dr. Ted Bailey and Virginia, his wife of almost 58 years who passed away in 2003.
Throughout the year, the Bailey Center hosts numerous events and gatherings, serving as a welcome center to the university family and the community.
The Bailey family members are strong supporters of student scholarships, having multiple endowed scholarships across disciplines and departments. The family foundation made adirect gift of $2 million to boost student scholarships in 2015.
The Baileys also started the Faculty Excellence Awards in 1988, an awards ceremony that recognizes the contributions of outstanding UA Little Rock faculty in teaching, research, and public service. They are also supporters of the UA Little Rock Chancellor’s Circle and Trojan Athletics, as well as the College of Engineering and Information Technology.