A UA Little Rock alumna is leaving a legacy of support for public service.
Nancy J. Hamlin, a retired social worker from Little Rock, has made two planned gifts to UA Little Rock that will benefit the School of Social Work as well as UA Little Rock Public Radio.
Hamlin has made a planned gift of $250,000 to create the Nancy J. Hamlin Endowed Professorship in Social Work in the College of Business, Health, and Human Services.
“The School of Social Work gave me the start I needed,” Hamlin said. “This is my opportunity to pay it forward and give back what they gave me. There were some very fine teachers when I attended the university. My family has always believed in education, and you need good teachers to do that. Creating an endowed professorship was my husband John Althoff’s idea.”
The endowed professorship will help the university recruit highly qualified professors to work as full-time faculty in social work and help supplement university support for outstanding social work faculty members.
“The School of Social Work is beyond thrilled that Nancy’s generosity and passion for social work extends to the UA Little Rock School of Social Work,” said Dr. Laura Danforth, co-director of the School of Social Work. “Her gift will guarantee that we will be able to recruit and retain a talented social work academic and practitioner who will benefit our students for years to come. Nancy is a talented social worker who has spent more than 30 years of her career in the mental health sector of our field, and it is an honor to be the recipient of this generous gift. The school can truly say, with conviction, that her investment in our department and our students will be a lasting one, and is beyond appreciated by all of us. She is the epitome of a UA Little Rock graduate, and we are so grateful for her service and continued contributions to the field of social work.”
After taking a career quiz in the ninth grade, Hamlin decided to pursue a career in social work because she wanted to help people. She graduated from UA Little Rock with bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology.
Hamlin said she got a good foundation from UA Little Rock, and that she “learned a lot about everything” in social work. She gained enough exposure to step right into the role of a social worker upon graduation. Hamlin went on to have a successful career of 35 years as a social worker, with more than 30 years spent in the mental health sector.
Hamlin’s second donation, a $125,000 planned gift, will go to the UA Little Rock Public Radio Operating Endowment. After listening to UA Little Rock Public Radio since the 1970s, Hamlin wanted to support the power of public radio to help communities across Arkansas.
“As the years went on, I started listening to more public radio,” Hamlin said. “Eventually, I found the radio dial on the car was often on NPR stations. I like public radio, and I want it to continue. Probably the biggest impetus for my gift was learning that Joan Kroc (widow of McDonald’s Corp. founder Ray Kroc) left money to NPR. I remember thinking, ‘what a kind and thoughtful gift that is,’ and I wanted to follow in her footsteps.”