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UA Little Rock Dedicates Newly Renovated Riggs Cat Field Operations Lab

UA Little Rock Chancellor Christina Drale, John "Arthur" Riggs V, and Provost Ann Bain dedicate the Riggs Cat Field Operations Lab.

In a testament to the success of industry partnerships and academic innovation, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has dedicated the newly renovated Riggs Cat Field Operations Lab Nov. 30.

Located in the Engineering and Applied Technology Sciences building, the lab will help students in the Department of Construction Management and Civil and Construction Engineering with classes in surveying, heavy construction, and field engineering. This dedicated lab space will enhance learning field layout, jobsite management, equipment utilization, and engineering economics.

The classroom and lab renovation was completed thanks to a generous five-year, $50,000 donation from Riggs Cat, a family-owned business that has served the state of Arkansas as the Caterpillar Equipment and Service provider since 1927.

“Thank you for the opportunity to work with UA Little Rock and the construction management program,” said John Arthur Riggs V, senior vice president of support, engine, and technology at Riggs Cat. “I’ve been very thankful for this university and this program. It’s pretty unique in what it does, and I’m very happy to be a part of it. We are excited to see what you do with this classroom and excited for what it will do for future students and what it does for future leaders in the construction industry.”

UA Little Rock and Riggs Cat officials gather to celebrate the dedication of the newly renovated Riggs Cat Field Operations Lab. Photos by Ahmed Elkhattabi.
UA Little Rock and Riggs Cat officials gather to celebrate the dedication of the newly renovated Riggs Cat Field Operations Lab. Photos by Ahmed Elkhattabi.

Provost Ann Bain said that the dedication is a chance to recognize and celebrate industry partners and the support that they provide to UA Little Rock and its students.

“Riggs Cat has a long history of giving back to the community and to UA Little Rock,” Bain said. “You can see that on campus at the Engineering and Information Technology building where the company name is prominently displayed on the donor wall. Riggs has also supported construction management students through the awarding of scholarships. Now we can add the renovation of this classroom to their list of giving to UA Little Rock. Your investment in our students and university is ensuring a strong construction industry workforce in Central Arkansas.”

This gift is part of the Centennial Campaign, UA Little Rock’s fundraising campaign to raise $250 million before the university’s 100-year anniversary.

“We are currently working to raise a quarter of a billion dollars in support of student scholarships, student support, program excellence, and the living and learning environment during the Centennial Campaign,” said Dr. Lawrence Whitman, dean of the Donaghey College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. “This classroom is one of many examples of innovation to improve the learning environment on campus. We appreciate the partnership with Riggs Cat. The way that we work with our industry partners sets this university, our college, and our students apart.”