UA Little Rock Public Radio receives nearly $37k grant from Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable Trust

UA Little Rock Public Radio employees raise money during the Fall Fund Drive.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Public Radio has received a grant of $36,681 from the Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable and Educational Trust of Arkadelphia, Arkansas, for equipment upgrades for KLRE/KUAR. 

“The generosity of the Sturgis Trust of Arkadelphia will help KLRE and KUAR acquire much-needed operational equipment that will help us maintain more consistent high-quality broadcasts from both the KUAR and KLRE FM and HD signals,” Vandiver said. “We sincerely thank the Sturgis Trust, whose gift will benefit the KLRE and KUAR listening audiences for years to come.

The Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable Trust was established in 1981 to support and promote quality educational, cultural, human services, and health care programming for all people.

“For me, public radio provides news I know I can trust,” said Lisa Speer, trustee and administrator of the Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable Trust. “Today, we are inundated with information from a variety of sources, not all of them credible, and it has gotten increasingly more difficult to differentiate reliable news sources from sources that are merely based on opinion. When I tune into public radio, I know that I am getting information that I can count on to be as fair and unbiased as possible.”

The Sturgis Trust is gifting UA Little Rock Public Radio with $28,718 for a backup generator for KLRE Classical 90.5, which will allow listeners uninterrupted access to their music during power outages. The 40,000-watt tower that broadcasts KLRE, is located at Metropolitan Career-Technical Center in Little Rock. The new generator will be installed in June.

“Power outages cause KLRE service disruptions an average of six times per year,” Vandiver said. “A propane-powered backup generator at KLRE tower would allow for uninterrupted KLRE broadcast during Entergy service outages.”

Additionally, the Sturgis Trust has also donated $7,963 for a second air conditioner to cool the equipment that transmits KUAR FM 89.1. A new HVAC system has already been installed at Shinall Mountain in West Little Rock, where the radio station’s tower and transmitter are located.

UA Little Rock Public Radio is a public service of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Its two stations, KUAR FM 89.1 and KLRE Classical 90.5, provide news and cultural programming to 84,000 people each week throughout Arkansas. KUAR is central Arkansas’s NPR station and KLRE is the only FM radio station in Arkansas dedicated fully to classical music programming.

Roy Sturgis was one of 10 children of an Arkansas farmer and homemaker. In 1933, Roy Sturgis married Texas native Christine Johns. They became very successful in the timber, lumber, and sawmill industries in Arkansas. They were passionate about educational opportunities for young people and supported organizations working in the areas of health, social services, and the arts.

Speer, who is an active KUAR listener, said the engaging programming presented on public radio is one of the reasons it’s important to support public radio in Arkansas.

“I also love the variety of programming on KUAR,” Speer said. “It’s engaging programming that makes me feel like I am part of a larger conversation in a way that other radio stations do not. When I listen to KUAR, I always learn something; and I am frequently challenged to think about situations from other perspectives that I might not have otherwise considered. I sing, laugh, and cry depending on what I’m listening to at the moment. If you are not a public radio listener, you are missing out.”

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