A-State Gets $1.2M for Women's Leadership Center

A-State Gets $1.2M for Women's Leadership Center
From left: Jessica Brogdon, a senior business administration major, Graduate School Dean Cherisse Jones-Branch, and Andrea Allen, executive director of the Delta Center for Economic Devlopment, cheer the announcement of Gov. Hutchinson's support and an anonymous donor's gift for the Arkansas Delta Women's Leadership Academy at A-State. (Carla Wehmeyer/Arkansas State University)

Arkansas State University of Jonesboro this week marked a $1.2 million cash infusion to support programs at its Women’s Leadership Center.

On Thursday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson committed $200,000 from his discretionary rainy day fund to the center. A-State said it would use the money to create an Arkansas Delta Women’s Leadership Academy.

And on Monday, A-State announced that it received a $1 million donation from an anonymous donor to support the general operations of the center.

The university said the money will "open the door" for more women across the region.

"The Women’s Leadership Center provides a network like no other university in the state and we are proud to have this incredible support for our students here at A-State," A-State Chancellor Todd Shields said. "On behalf of A-State, I am so thankful of both the governor and our benefactor in providing us with these resources."

A-State announced the funding days after the Arkansas Women’s Commission made a number of recommendations regarding the economic status of women in the state’s workforce.

Hutchinson announced the report’s release — and the $200,000 grant to A-State — at a news conference at the Arkansas State Capitol last week.

The report focused largely on women’s labor force participation and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the family and caregiving.

The commission’s partners in the statewide research initiative included the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas (WFA), which provided organizational and financial support; A-State, providing data and research support; and the University of Arkansas Fulbright College, which sponsored online phone survey efforts in addition to providing analytical support.

A-State Graduate School Dean Cherisse Jones-Branch, a member of the Women’s Commission, said money from the governor and the $1 million donation "will allow us to help women in leadership positions, and women who aspire to leadership positions, while maintaining a close connection with the Women’s Leadership Center here at A-State."

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