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Empowering Futures: UA Little Rock Launches Innovative Initiative to Boost Donations for Student Opportunities

UA Little Rock students hang out on campus. Photo by Ben Krain.
UA Little Rock students hang out on campus. Photo by Ben Krain.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has announced the opportunity for alumni to become Trojan Champions. Trojan Champions is a pioneering initiative aimed at fostering greater support for college students by increasing donations that provide students with expanded opportunities to thrive academically, professionally, and personally.

“We are happy to introduce Trojan Champions, a new initiative that underscores our unwavering commitment to student success,” said Kristi Smith, associate vice chancellor for alumni and development. “With alumni engagement at an all-time high, this program opens doors for students to explore exciting opportunities at the next level.”

All Trojan Champions pledge to make an annual donation to the UA Little Rock Annual Fund for three years or more. Donations to the Annual Fund are unrestricted and can be used for a variety of opportunities to help students succeed.

“I became a Trojan Champion because I have benefited immensely from UA Little Rock and want to pay it forward,” said Donovan Colclough, an alumnus who recently joined Trojan Champions. “I live our mantra of ‘Expect More’ out loud, especially as I look within and consider how I can help keep the path of success open for our future alumni.”

Such funds could be used to establish a fund that enables UA Little Rock students to showcase their talents at prestigious venues like Carnegie Hall, participate in national competitions, or engage in academic competitions. A current example of a gift in action are custom blazers for real estate students provided by Paul Rainwater at Q Clothier. These students will be outfitted for success when they participate in an upcoming national real estate challenge.

“As a Trojan Champion, you have the chance to empower students in a manner that suits you best,” said Laterika Tooks, director of annual giving. “We have had an overwhelmingly positive response from alumni who want to play a role in championing our students. Having graduated from UA Little Rock, I recognize the significance of both on and off campus experiences, and this opportunity allows our alumni and friends to make a direct, positive impact on students benefiting from these unrestricted funds.”

With a focus on empowering the next generation of philanthropists, UA Little Rock seeks to harness the collective generosity of its alumni community to pave the way for enhanced educational experiences and brighter futures for students from all walks of life. Trojan Champions represents a new opportunity for alumni to have an immediate impact on students.

“I’ve wanted to find a consistent way to give to the university for a while, but no one ever talks about how intimidating giving can be when you already have the many financial obligations that come with raising a family, and you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to spare,” Trojan Champion Guy Choate said. “The Trojan Champions Program gives me a responsible entry point that can still make an impact at UA Little Rock.”

New Trojan Champion Becky Flynn, director of development for the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, said it was important for her to become a Trojan Champion to support student success at UA Little Rock.

“This is a chance to donate directly to opportunities that create that success,” Flynn said. “It is my hope that UA Little Rock students are provided every opportunity to excel, inside and outside of the classroom. Knowing that this fund supports growth and development for current and future Trojans is what made me want to support the program. I appreciate UA Little Rock for continuing to find innovative ways to advance students!”

UA Little Rock has a goal of welcoming the first 100 Trojan Champions by June 30, 2025. The generous contributions from these and future Trojan Champions is set to make a lasting impact by empowering students to build their dreams and construct a brighter future for themselves and their communities. This program is a part of the Centennial Campaign, which has a goal to raise $250 million in celebration of the university’s 100-year anniversary in 2027.

For more information on how to become a Trojan Champion, visit this website or contact Tooks at or 501-916-6439.