Jack Kinnaman is not a University of Arkansas at Little Rock graduate-he was not, in fact, a UALR student. But this hasn’t stopped Jack, a prominent Little Rock businessman and former owner of Kinco Constructors Inc., from becoming one of the university’s most substantial supporters.
“I feel strongly that any university should be involved in the community and its affairs. UALR is very involved,” Jack says.
He sees particular value in the university’s Construction Management Program, one of several academic programs the university has structured to meet community and business needs. The construction major is perfect for students who want a career in the field, and with the program producing 40 or so graduates each year, large Little Rock contractors can now look in-state for skilled employees.
Jack says that when he first started in construction, he was impressed with the knowledge of some of the older workers-but was frustrated when they wouldn’t share that knowledge. “They guarded it like gold.”
As he gained more experience and confidence, Jack vowed to always share what he learned, firm in his belief that a key to success in the construction industry is having educated employees. This belief led to his involvement with the American Institute of Constructors (AIC) and the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE), and through these associations Jack was instrumental in starting UALR’s Construction Management Program.
To help support that program and its students, Jack has funded the Jack Kinnaman Constructor Endowed Scholarship and the Phyllis Kinnaman Memorial Scholarship in memory of his first wife. He is also leaving a bequest in his will to endow an athletic scholarship and to provide additional funding for the construction scholarships.
“I have read and believe that education is the foundation for progress,” Jack says, and he references this quote by Herbert Spencer: “Progress is not an accident but a necessity.”
“UALR does a great job helping the community,” Jack says, “and everyone who can needs to help the university. It is a win-win situation-we all benefit.”
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