The Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust has gifted $2.25 million to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's Center for Arkansas History and Culture.
The gift, announced Sept. 10 at UA Little Rock Downtown, will create the Winthrop Rockefeller Archival Fund, a quasi-endowment. It is the sixth largest cash gift in the university's history.
The fund will be used to preserve, house and catalog historical items from the Rockefeller Collection and to support topics and activities related to the center’s mission.
"The charitable trust and the UA Little Rock center have been good partners in bringing the Arkansas story to the community," Marion Burton, executive trustee of the Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust, said in a news release. "The trustees have always carefully considered the impact of its donations, and this gift was no exception. The charitable trust recognizes the strengths and reputation of the Center for Arkansas History and Culture and is pleased to make this further commitment to their work."
The collection is comprised of papers, memorabilia and historic records related to Gov. Rockefeller, Arkansas' first Republican governor since Reconstruction and a celebrated philanthropist. The charitable trust donated the collection to the center in 1980.
The Rockefeller Collection, which was instrumental in establishing UA Little Rock's archives program, represents the center's largest collection with more than 2,000 boxes.
The gift will also allow the center to create educational activities, research initiatives and events associated with the Rockefeller Collection and other collections housed in the center.
"We hope that the family will continue to see the center as the place to secure the Arkansas Rockefeller legacy," Deborah Baldwin, director of the center and associate provost for collections and archives, said. "We are pleased that the Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust has confidence in our vision and execution of the work."
Baldwin also said plans for the center include increasing its archives to include collections of underrepresented groups, increasing its efforts to digitize collections and making the historic information more accessible to the public.
The center plans to offer grant awards to conduct research and provide experiential learning opportunities as well.