UA Little Rock receives $1 million planned gift from Damerows to support science scholarships

Sherri and Jerry Damerow are the 2017 recipients of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Fribourgh Award. Photo by Lonnie Timmons III/UA Little Rock Communications.

Jerry and Sherri Damerow, longtime supporters of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in Arkansas, have made a planned gift of $1 million to support scholarships for science majors at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. 

The gift will benefit the Jerry and Sherri Damerow Endowed Science Scholarship, which provides scholarships for students majoring in astronomy, biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and Earth Science. The scholarship will provide assistance for education-related expenses including tuition, fees, books, and room and board.

“This incredibly generous gift from the Damerows will be a wonderful legacy for two people who have steadfastly supported science education at UA Little Rock for many years,” UA Little Rock Chancellor Christina Drale said. “As we expand our applied fields in the sciences, it is important to remember that basic science education remains the foundation for all that we accomplish in the applied fields. I am grateful to the Damerows for supporting this curriculum and for investing in our future.”

Jerry Damerow, a former managing partner for Ernst & Young, and Sherri Damerow, a retired kindergarten teacher and artist, believe helping students earn a college degree in a STEM area represents a “commitment to lifelong learning,” a goal the couple has supported for many years.

“There are multiple reasons why we decided to fund an endowed science scholarship at UA Little Rock,” said Jerry Damerow. “First, we believe a strong UA Little Rock is extremely important to Arkansas’ economy going forward, particularly Central Arkansas. We do not believe we can simply sit by and expect others to build and support this important university. Arkansas’ Women’s Hall of Fame member Dorothy Stuck once told me, ‘If we don’t build Arkansas, who will?’” 

The Damerows received the 8th annual Fribourgh Award in 2017, which recognizes individuals who have made considerable contributions to the state through the disciplines of mathematics and science.

Jerry Damerow is a past president and current board member of the Dean’s Science Council and the Centennial Campaign Cabinet at UA Little Rock. His long history of civic and professional involvement includes serving as a member and past director of the Rotary Club of Little Rock, as past board chair of the EAST Initiative, as chair of CareLink’s board of directors, as UA Little Rock’s Business Advisory Council member, and as a former chair of UA Little Rock’s College of Science and Mathematics Advisory Council.

“We believe we have been blessed and have an obligation to help other Arkansans realize their potential,” Jerry Damerow said. “Last, we believe our economy is going through a huge transformation driven by technology thereby dramatically increasing the importance of a STEM education. Many jobs are going away, and new ones will be created by scientists and engineers and those who qualify for those jobs will require a strong grounding in science and engineering.”

Sherri Damerow has been involved in numerous charitable causes, including teaching computer skills to seniors at the UAMS Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and volunteering with Literacy Action of Central Arkansas and the Humane Society of Pulaski County.

“Jerry and Sherri Damerow have been active in promoting our community for a long time, and this generous gift aligns well with their continuing gift of time in impacting our community for the better both now and in the future,” said Dr. Lawrence Whitman, dean of the Donaghey College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. “I am glad to know people like Jerry and Sherri.”

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