The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has received a $250,000 gift to create an endowed professorship of choral music.
The donation from alumna Elizabeth Bowles, CEO of Aristotle Unified Communications of Little Rock, will create the W.D. Bowles Endowed Professorship in Music in the School of Literary and Performing Arts. The professorship is named in honor of her father, Walter “Dixon” Bowles, who was the leader of the Dan Blocker Singers, a popular folk music choir in the late 1960s from Odessa, Texas.
Dixon Bowles co-founded internet and web service provider Aristotle in 1995. After his death in 2010, Elizabeth Bowles took over as board chair and later spun out Aristotle’s broadband division, Aristotle Unified Communications, into its own company.
Dixon Bowles also founded The Group Inc., a community that managed the Lodge at Mount Magazine in the early 1970s, and opened popular dinner theaters in Greers Ferry and in Memphis.
“Throughout every iteration of my father’s entrepreneurial journey, music always remained important to him, as it is to me,” Elizabeth Bowles said in a news release. “I was a member of the youth choir my father directed, and in law school, I performed with the school’s acapella choir.”
The U of A said the endowment will help recruit highly-qualified candidates to the professorship and provide the resources needed for the position.