Connors Pledge $1.5M to UA Fulbright College Fellowship

Robert and Sandra Connor of Little Rock and Dallas have pledged $1.5 million to enhance the Robert C. and Sandra Connor Endowed Faculty Fellowship at the University of Arkansas.

In a news release, the UA said the money will benefit full-time junior-level faculty in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. It will be used to support teaching, research, service and career development.

"Bob and Sandra are two of our most engaged volunteers and are excellent ambassadors of the University of Arkansas," UA Chancellor G. David Gearhart said. "This gift will make a significant impact on our faculty recruitment and retention efforts – key measures supporting our goal of becoming nationally recognized as a top 50 public research university."

The couple established the Connor Faculty Fellowship Fund in 2004. Its aim was to provide faculty development opportunities, supporting research initiatives, travel opportunities and in-classroom programs. Each year, the college names 10 Connor Faculty Fellows. Since 2004, there have been 75 fellows.

"We were delighted with the success of the original endowment and the impact the faculty fellows have made to Fulbright College," Sandra Connor said. "It is inspiring to us to support junior-level faculty who are making a difference in their fields of expertise while promoting the U of A's goal of becoming a top public research university."

The university said an additional $25,000 donation from the Connors will benefit the Sandra and Robert Connor Access Arkansas Scholarship, which provides money for need-based scholarships.