The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has announced a $250 million fundraising campaign, the largest in school history, ahead of its 100-year anniversary in 2027.
The school raised $163 million during the silent phase of the campaign, which began in 2017, before formally announcing the public phase on Friday. So far, the university has received more than 20,100 donations.
Major gifts include a $6.75 million gift from the Yupo and Susan Chan Charitable Trust honoring Yupo Chan, the founding chair of the Department of Systems Engineering, who died in 2020. The gift is the fifth largest in school history and the school's second-largest endowed gift ever, the university said in a news release.
The campaign focuses on four areas:
- student scholarships, which will help continue university efforts to ensure affordable education
- student success initiatives, which include retention-boosting services such as tutoring, career coaching, and emergency support
- living and learning environment upgrades that provide students with state-of-the-art classrooms and enrich campus activities
- program excellence, or making investments that will help the university recruit and retain talented faculty and researchers
"The last 100 years have been an inspired journey to excellence," Chancellor Christina Drale said in the release. "By raising these funds, we are ensuring that UA Little Rock will continue on that journey and continue to provide educational opportunities for generations of students to come."
Other major donations include a $25 million anonymous gift for scholarships and student success programs, and a $5.5 million gift from the Donaghey Foundation to construct a new promenade called Trojan Way and a new library plaza. Additionally, the Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust gave $2.25 million to preserve and educate the public about the history of Arkansas and the contributions of Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller.
Another major gift came from campaign committee co-chair Jerry Damerow, a retired Ernst & Young partner, and his wife Sherri, a retired kindergarten teacher. Their planned gift of $1 million will support scholarships for science majors at the university.
"If we don’t build Arkansas," the Damerows said, "who will? We could give our support anywhere, but we’ve found the best students are right here at home."