Dierks Gives $1.5 Million to National Park Community College

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006 12:16 pm  

Frederick M. Dierks of Hot Springs has pledged what educators are calling the largest individual cash gift to an Arkansas community college.
Dierks is giving $1.5 million to the National Park Community College Foundation in its first capital campaign. The money is earmarked for a new nursing and health sciences facility, which will be named the Frederick M. Dierks Center for Nursing & Health Sciences.
The building is in the preliminary planning phase but will be about 75,000 SF. Construction could begin as early as 2008.
"This will allow us to increase the numbers we accept into the health programs," Dr. Sally Carder, president of National Park Community College, said. "While 90 percent of the area's health care workers have been trained at National Park Community College, space limitations have forced us to turn away students who have already met the program prerequisites.
"Mr. Dierks and his generous donation will provide for the critical needs tied directly to the region's medical industry. This is such a great day for the college and for the entire community."
Dierks was a vice president, director and president of Dierks Cos. from the 1940s to the 1960s, taking special interest in the company's paper mill and multiwall bag plant. He continued in those positions until the Weyerhaeuser acquisition in 1969.
National Park Community College at Hot Springs is one of the state's largest community colleges, with about 3,000 credit students per semester enrolled in college courses.



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