Winthrop Rockefeller Institute Funded by $100M Endowment

Winthrop Rockefeller Institute Funded by $100M Endowment
The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean Mountain near Morrilton

The University of Arkansas System and the University of Arkansas Winthrop Rockefeller Institute announced Friday the Governor Winthrop Rockefeller Endowment, a gift of more than $100 million from the Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust that will continue to fund the institute in perpetuity.

The institute on Petit Jean Mountain near Morrilton is part of the UA System. How it operates will not change, but the endowment ensures its future, officials said during the announcement.

The institute has hosted and sponsored numerous civic, cultural, research and education-oriented programs and activities, and convened conferences on nano-technology and radiation-related medical research.

Past programs include:

  • Using consensus decision-making to help Arkansas farmers with the Dicamba issue;
  • The Rural Health Summit, which brought organizations together to figure out how they could work together for better health outcomes in rural Arkansas;
  • The Under 40 Forum that brought together some of the state’s most talented young leaders to working collaboratively in asking big questions about how to shape the future; and
  • Working with Uncommon Communities, an organization that aims to bring citizens together to work collaboratively on projects and initiatives designed to make their communities more competitive in the 21st century economy.

The trust was established by the late Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller to continue his philanthropic and civic intentions. It will be held at the UA Foundation.

“Winthrop Rockefeller left his mark on Arkansas history by respecting people from different backgrounds and viewpoints and challenging us to work together to solve difficult problems. The institute honors his legacy by convening groups for collaborative problem-solving and respectful dialogue,” Marta Loyd, executive director/CEO of the institute, said in a news release. “This historic endowment makes it possible for us to engage a wider audience with Gov. Rockefeller’s legacy from the mountain where he convened groups during his day."

Marion Burton, executive trustee of the Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust, said in the release, “The Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust is pleased to invest in the work of the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, and we look forward to the opportunities for innovative education and civic-related purposes the endowment will provide, and to its contributions for the mission of the UA System.

“The trust recognizes the strength and reputation of the UA System, and the proven ability of the UA Foundation to be an excellent steward of the assets of the trust, so we are especially pleased by the affiliation of the Institute in the UA System.”

The trust, in coordination with the UA System, established the institute in 2005 and has supported its operations and programs since then.