Arkansas Business' 25 Philanthropists (25th Anniversary)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 23, 2009 12:00 am  

Winthrop Rockefeller, Arkansas governor from 1967-71

9. J.B. and Johnelle Hunt
Johnnie Bryan "J.B." Hunt, the founder of J.B. Hunt Transport Services, is among the tycoons from northwest Arkansas who, after earning their wealth, went on to give away much of it.

Hunt, who died in 2006, and his wife, Johnelle, worked as a philanthropic team, just as they had worked as a team to build their trucking company. Their gifts went to a broad array of causes, particularly education and health care.

In 2005, their trucking firm pledged $10 million and the couple gave $5 million to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville for what became the J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. Center for Academic Excellence. They also gave $5 million to Mercy Health System of Northwest Arkansas in Rogers for a new hospital and contributed to UAMS and the Arkansas Center for Addiction Research, Education & Services.

10. Charles A. Frueauff Foundation/Frueauff Family
The Charles A. Frueauff Foundation was the ninth-largest nonprofit organization in Arkansas on Arkansas Business' 2008 list, reporting assets of $124 million in fiscal 2007. It was founded in 1950 through the estate of Charles A. Frueauff, a New York lawyer. The foundation, which moved to Little Rock in 1997, continues to be led by members of the Frueauff family.

It awards grants in the areas of higher education, social services and health and hospitals. The foundation, currently headed by David A. Frueauff, a seventh-generation Arkansan and grandnephew of Charles A. Frueauff, has awarded more than $123 million in 58 years to more than 650 agencies and institutions in 29 states. It gave more than $5 million in 2008, with 44 of 174 of those grants going to groups in Arkansas.

11. Don Tyson/Tyson Family Foundation/Tyson Foods Foundation
Don Tyson, son of Tyson Foods Inc. founder John Tyson, pushed the company to become one of the biggest poultry and meat producers in the world. His generosity has also been outsized.

He helped fund three Farm Aid concerts for the organizer, his friend Willie Nelson, and the Tyson Family Foundation has given millions to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. During the university's fundraising drive, the Campaign for the 21st Century, donations from Tyson Foods, the Tyson family and the foundation totaled about $27 million.

The Tyson Foods Foundation is the charitable branch of the company.

12. Ross Foundation/Jane Ross
Jane Ross, a Clark County timber heiress, and her mother, Esther, established the Ross Foundation in 1966 to serve the people of southwest Arkansas.

The foundation has focused on education, conservation and economic development. Examples of the foundation's generosity include a $3 million gift in 2001 to Arkadelphia schools aimed at improving education and health care for young children and $2 million in 2007 to Group Living Inc., a nonprofit that helps the developmentally disabled. Ross died in 1999, but lives on through the work of her foundation.

13. Don Munro/Munro Foundation
Boston-born Don Munro came to Arkansas in 1959 to manage the southern division of Connors & Hoffmann Footwear Co. of New Hampshire. Munro formed his own shoe manufacturing company in 1972, Munro & Co. Inc. in Hot Springs. The Munro Foundation has given to many causes, including community and economic development, health care and the arts. Munro himself has served on the boards of numerous Arkansas nonprofits over the years, including the Arkansas Community Foundation, an independent nonprofit that also appears on this list.

14. Lucy Lockett Cabe
Lucy Lockett Cabe was dedicated to improving the performing arts in Arkansas, and her giving reflected that dedication.



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