Arkansas Business' 25 Philanthropists (25th Anniversary)

Arkansas Business' 25 Philanthropists (25th Anniversary)
Winthrop Rockefeller, Arkansas governor from 1967-71

For a poor state, Arkansas has produced a remarkable legacy of philanthropy that extends far beyond its borders. What follows is a list of some of the state's most notable philanthropists.

Like several of these lists, it possesses a degree of arbitrariness. Space prevents its being inclusive, and many philanthropists – famous and not so – make anonymous gifts, so this is only a very rough ranking. In addition, those who give something that is often much more precious than money – their time – rarely receive the attention that goes along with multimillion-dollar gifts, meaning they're not represented as they should be. Most of those listed, however, have given of both time and money.

We ask pardon in advance to those generous souls whose names should have appeared and didn't. If virtue is indeed its own reward, then we trust they will forgive omissions and understand that no one was intentionally slighted.

1. The People of Arkansas
The widow's mite makes for mighty giving in a state like Arkansas.

Research indicates that the poor give more money as a percentage of their income than do the rich. The state ranks 48th in per capita income yet is consistently ranked in the upper tier of per capita giving to charity.

Studies show a positive correlation between religious sentiment and charitable giving, and Arkansans are religious, yet they don't confine their charity to their churches.

One outstanding example of someone who has given of herself for more than 50 years is Jo Ann Cayce of Thornton (Calhoun County), winner in 1992 of the National Caring Award, as, in 2004, was her 17-year-old grandson, Daniel. JoAnn has helped feed, clothe and otherwise care for the poor, elderly and disabled in her neck of the woods since she was a girl.

Another is Keith Jackson, retired star of the National Football League and now an Arkansas Razorbacks radio analyst. Jackson founded Positive Atmosphere Reaches Kids, a program that works to keep Little Rock children from dropping out of school and to help them achieve academically.

As for other more or less average Arkansans who contribute time, money, even their blood, they are too numerous to name but not too numerous to thank.

2. Walton Family Foundation/Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation/Wal-Mart Foundation/Sam Walton/Helen Walton/Bud Walton/Alice Walton/John Walton/Jim Walton/S. Robson Walton/Christy Walton
The members of one of the world's richest families not only founded one of the United States' biggest charitable organizations, they also have donated huge amounts of money individually.

The Walton Family Foundation, which Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton and his wife, Helen, started in 1987, focuses much of its giving on efforts to reform public schools. Other foundation interests include environmental initiatives, economic development in the Delta and individual programs in northwest Arkansas. In 2007, the foundation, based in Bentonville, gave $241 million in grants and other donations, its Web site says. The foundation had assets of $1.6 billion at the end of 2007, according to the Foundation Center, a nonprofit based in New York that provides a directory of public and private foundations.

The Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation helps Arkansas colleges, universities, community trusts and foundations in Arkansas and several other states. In 1998, the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation gave $50 million to the College of Business Administration of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, which was renamed the Sam M. Walton College of Business. In 2002, the foundation gave $300 million to the University of Arkansas.

The Wal-Mart Foundation tends to make smaller gifts in the communities in which Wal-Mart stores are located. It targets work force development, education, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness.

Helen Walton herself, before her death in 2007, made generous gifts, including $20 million to the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville in 2006. And when she died, the family announced that much of her Wal-Mart stock would eventually go to charity.

She and Sam Walton gave $5 million to help build the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, and Sam's brother, Bud, gave $15 million for a new Razorbacks basketball arena, named the Bud Walton Arena.

Alice Walton, the daughter of Sam and Helen, other family members and the family's Charitable Support Foundation have spent millions of dollars to build Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville and to acquire art to display there. When it opens, Crystal Bridges is expected to be among the world's finest museums devoted to American art. Alice Walton has spearheaded the museum efforts.

Although John Walton, Sam and Helen Walton's second son, died in a 2005 plane crash, he, like his siblings, was deeply involved in the family's philanthropic efforts. He gave millions of dollars for private-school scholarships and to promote charter schools, and his widow, Christy, continues the family's charitable efforts.

3. Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation/ Winthrop Rockefeller Trust/Winrock International Institute/ Winthrop Paul Rockefeller/Lisenne Rockefeller
As has the Walton family, the Rockefeller family has made an indelible mark on Arkansas through the gifts of individual members and the work of various family-founded nonprofits.

Winthrop Rockefeller, Arkansas governor from 1967-71, was born into a storied family of immense wealth. He and his second wife, Jeannette, were instrumental in providing seed money for what would become the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock and helped raise more money for the center. They contributed at least $2 million during Rockefeller's lifetime, and more came from the family's charitable trust.

The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, created out of the estate of the former governor, awards grants to promote education, economic development, and economic, racial and social justice. The foundation, founded in 1974, is the fifth-largest nonprofit in Arkansas and has awarded more than $130 million during its existence, according to its current chief, Sherece Y. West.

In September 2007, the foundation donated more than $12 million to the Arkansas Cancer Research Institute to help create a new leukemia/lymphoma program. The center has been renamed the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, in honor of the late Winthrop Paul Rockefeller, son of Winthrop and former Arkansas lieutenant governor. Win or Win Paul, as he was known, also devoted his time and money to many causes, perhaps chief among them the Boy Scouts of America.

The Winthrop Rockefeller Trust is the seventh-largest nonprofit in Arkansas with assets of $143 million as of June 30, 2007. The trust makes awards for various charitable purposes with a focus on Arkansas and education.

Winrock International is the product of the merger of three nonprofits, one of which was an animal agriculture research effort created by Gov. Rockefeller. Winrock International, headquartered in Little Rock, works around the world and in the United States on economic development and environmental protection.

Lisenne Rockefeller, the widow of Winthrop Paul Rockefeller, is a force in philanthropy primarily through her work as a member of the board of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.

4. Donald W. Reynolds/Donald W. Reynolds Foundation
Although Donald W. Reynolds was raised in Oklahoma City, he made a huge mark in Arkansas, both as a newspaper magnate and a philanthropist. Reynolds bought the Fort Smith newspaper, the Southwest Times Record, in 1940, one of two that launched what became Donrey Media Group.

Reynolds' giving didn't start until later in his life, with most of it coming through his foundation, based in Nevada. When he did start giving, however, he gave big. Reynolds died in 1993, but his foundation has doled out hundreds of millions of dollars. In Arkansas, it has focused its philanthropy on geriatric and cardiac research as well as on capital improvements to campuses around Arkansas.

Buildings bearing the Reynolds name include the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences ($28.8 million), the Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium at UA Fayetteville ($21 million for its expansion), the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Business & Economic Development at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock ($13 million), the Donald W. Reynolds Library & Technology Center at Philander Smith College ($7.8 million) and the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Music & Communication at Harding University ($6 million). That's just a sample.

Other buildings funded with Reynolds Foundation money bear the names of Reynolds' friends and business associates. Among them are the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center at UA Fort Smith and the Ross Pendergraft Library & Technology Center at Arkansas Tech.

The foundation even came to the aid of the father of the country – or at least his portrait – when in 2001 it gave $30 million to keep a Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington hanging at the Smithsonian Institution after its British owner decided to sell it. In 2005, the foundation gave the Smithsonian another $45 million to renovate the historic Patent Office Building, home to the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, as well as for exhibitions. The two museums are now known as the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art & Portraiture.

5. Jackson T."Jack" Stephens/Warren and Harriet Stephens
Jackson T. "Jack" Stephens, the legendary Little Rock financier who died in 2005, donated millions of dollars to scores of causes, among them the Arkansas Arts Center, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and The First Tee of Little Rock.

With his older brother, Wilton Robert "Witt" Stephens, Jack Stephens founded what became Stephens Inc.

He gave $5 million to The First Tee, which seeks to teach values to young people while teaching golf, which was a major love of Stephens' life. Stephens helped transform the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences with his multimillion-dollar gifts, including $48 million for the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, $1.5 million to endow a chair in geriatrics and another $1.5 million to endow a second geriatrics chair.

He gave $22 million to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for what became the Jack Stephens Center, home to UALR athletics, and $2.5 million to the St. Vincent Heart Center at St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center.

The art that Stephens gave to the Arkansas Arts Center has been valued at $22 million, and he gave money to help build the 30,000-SF addition to the center.

Stephens and other members of his family, including his son Warren and Warren's wife, Harriet, gave $30 million to Episcopal Collegiate School in 2004. Warren Stephens gave 11 acres for Dickey-Stephens Park, which opened on the North Little Rock side of the Arkansas River in 2007 as home to the Arkansas Travelers.

6. Murphy Oil Corp./Claiborne and Elaine Deming/Murphy Foundation/Charles H. Murphy Jr./Murphy-Keller Family
In January 2007, Murphy Oil Corp. and its president and CEO, Claiborne Deming, made an astonishing promise, the "El Dorado Promise." The global energy company based at El Dorado pledged $50 million over the next 20 years to help pay the college tuition for all the city's high school graduates, or at least those who had been in the El Dorado schools since the ninth grade. In the first year of the program's existence, at least half of the graduates were the first generation in their family to attend college.

Deming is the grandson of Charles H. Murphy Sr., a south Arkansas entrepreneur who amassed numerous land and petroleum interests. Deming and his wife, Elaine, founded the El Dorado Education Foundation, which created the El Dorado Mathematics Chair, the first endowed position in a secondary public school. Deming retired as Murphy Oil's chief executive Dec. 31, 2008, though he remains on the board of directors.

Then there's the Murphy Foundation, based in El Dorado and headed by Madison Murphy. Madison is the son of Charles H. Murphy Jr., son of Charles Sr. Charles Jr. was the founder and longtime chief of Murphy Oil. Charles Murphy Jr., who died in 2002, established the foundation along with his wife and mother. The foundation, according to the Foundation Center, had assets of $93 million as of April 30, 2008. The foundation focuses on medical and other aid to the poor, particularly children; education, including individual scholarships; and scientific research.

In addition, Polly Murphy Keller Winter, sister of Charles H. Murphy Jr., and her late husband, Christoph Keller Jr., were steadfast supporters of Heifer International. In 2005, her family gave $3.5 million to the nonprofit to build the Polly Murphy & Christoph Keller Jr. Education Center.

7. Harvey and Bernice Jones/The Harvey & Bernice Jones Charitable Trust
Harvey Jones was the founder of Jones Truck Lines in Springdale, the source of the fortune that, once amassed, Jones and his wife, Bernice, worked hard to give away.

The couple established a charitable foundation in 1957, and many of their gifts were anonymous. After Harvey Jones died in 1989, Bernice opened her purse even wider.

She gave $5.5 million to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences for what would become the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute. She gave millions of dollars to Arkansas Children's Hospital and to educational institutions across Arkansas, including Ouachita Baptist University at Arkadelphia, home of the Harvey & Bernice Jones Center for Performing Arts and the Harvey Jones Science Center.

The foundation funded the Harvey & Bernice Jones Center for Families, which in 1995 opened in the former Jones Truck Lines headquarters in Springdale. The 235,000-SF center offers educational and recreational activities. Mrs. Jones died in 2003.

8. Willard and Pat Walker/Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation
Willard and Pat Walker began their careers – and their relationship – in retail, meeting at an S.H Kress & Co. store in Coffeyville, Kan. Willard eventually landed a job as manager of a store in Springdale belonging to an up-and-comer, Sam Walton, and the couple's fortune rests on Wal-Mart stock.

Always active in the community of Springdale, the Willards started their foundation in 1986. The foundation has given millions of dollars to educational and health care institutions in addition to many nonprofits.

In 2002, the Walkers gave $6 million to the Arkansas Center for Eye Research, part of the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute. The center was renamed the Pat & Willard Walker Eye Research Center. Pat Walker and Bernice Jones were longtime friends. In 2003, the foundation donated $8 million for what became the Willard J. Walker Hall at UA's Sam M. Walton College of Business. In 2004, the foundation gave $21.5 million to UAMS, with $15 million of that going to expand the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute. The new floors are the Pat Walker Tower.

The foundation has also given millions to the University of the Ozarks, John Brown University and Hendrix College.

Although Willard Walker died in 2003, his widow, Pat, and the foundation have built on what is now a family legacy of generosity.

9. J.B. and Johnelle Hunt
Johnnie Bryan "J.B." Hunt, the founder of J.B. Hunt Transport Services, is among the tycoons from northwest Arkansas who, after earning their wealth, went on to give away much of it.

Hunt, who died in 2006, and his wife, Johnelle, worked as a philanthropic team, just as they had worked as a team to build their trucking company. Their gifts went to a broad array of causes, particularly education and health care.

In 2005, their trucking firm pledged $10 million and the couple gave $5 million to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville for what became the J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. Center for Academic Excellence. They also gave $5 million to Mercy Health System of Northwest Arkansas in Rogers for a new hospital and contributed to UAMS and the Arkansas Center for Addiction Research, Education & Services.

10. Charles A. Frueauff Foundation/Frueauff Family
The Charles A. Frueauff Foundation was the ninth-largest nonprofit organization in Arkansas on Arkansas Business' 2008 list, reporting assets of $124 million in fiscal 2007. It was founded in 1950 through the estate of Charles A. Frueauff, a New York lawyer. The foundation, which moved to Little Rock in 1997, continues to be led by members of the Frueauff family.

It awards grants in the areas of higher education, social services and health and hospitals. The foundation, currently headed by David A. Frueauff, a seventh-generation Arkansan and grandnephew of Charles A. Frueauff, has awarded more than $123 million in 58 years to more than 650 agencies and institutions in 29 states. It gave more than $5 million in 2008, with 44 of 174 of those grants going to groups in Arkansas.

11. Don Tyson/Tyson Family Foundation/Tyson Foods Foundation
Don Tyson, son of Tyson Foods Inc. founder John Tyson, pushed the company to become one of the biggest poultry and meat producers in the world. His generosity has also been outsized.

He helped fund three Farm Aid concerts for the organizer, his friend Willie Nelson, and the Tyson Family Foundation has given millions to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. During the university's fundraising drive, the Campaign for the 21st Century, donations from Tyson Foods, the Tyson family and the foundation totaled about $27 million.

The Tyson Foods Foundation is the charitable branch of the company.

12. Ross Foundation/Jane Ross
Jane Ross, a Clark County timber heiress, and her mother, Esther, established the Ross Foundation in 1966 to serve the people of southwest Arkansas.

The foundation has focused on education, conservation and economic development. Examples of the foundation's generosity include a $3 million gift in 2001 to Arkadelphia schools aimed at improving education and health care for young children and $2 million in 2007 to Group Living Inc., a nonprofit that helps the developmentally disabled. Ross died in 1999, but lives on through the work of her foundation.

13. Don Munro/Munro Foundation
Boston-born Don Munro came to Arkansas in 1959 to manage the southern division of Connors & Hoffmann Footwear Co. of New Hampshire. Munro formed his own shoe manufacturing company in 1972, Munro & Co. Inc. in Hot Springs. The Munro Foundation has given to many causes, including community and economic development, health care and the arts. Munro himself has served on the boards of numerous Arkansas nonprofits over the years, including the Arkansas Community Foundation, an independent nonprofit that also appears on this list.

14. Lucy Lockett Cabe
Lucy Lockett Cabe was dedicated to improving the performing arts in Arkansas, and her giving reflected that dedication.

Cabe, raised in St. Louis, came to the state in 1940 to marry Harold Cabe, owner of Gurdon Lumber Co.

In 1973, Lucy donated money that helped launch the Arkansas Opera Theatre in Little Rock, which eventually evolved into the Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts. In 1974, Harold sold the business to International Paper Co., and the family moved to Little Rock, where Lucy became even more involved in the arts scene. Cabe gave to the Arkansas Arts Center, Ballet Arkansas, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre and the music program at UALR. Cabe died in 2005.

15. The Frank Lyon Family
Frank Lyon Sr. moved from being a traveling salesman to become the founder of the Frank Lyon Co., an appliance wholesaler. His business interests grew to include investments in commercial buildings in downtown Little Rock, a controlling interest in Twin City Bank and ownership of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Arkansas and the 13,000-acre Wingmead Farms in Prairie County. His son, Frank Lyon Jr., went on to become CEO of the bottling company.

In the late 1980s, the family began to dismantle parts of its business empire, selling off pieces for hefty prices. One example: The bottling company, which had grown into a regional operation, went for a reported $250 million in 1989. In 1997, Forbes listed Frank Jr. among the 400 richest people in the United States, with holdings in various enterprises estimated at $600 million.

In 1989, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Lyon Sr. and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Lyon Jr. gave $5.25 million to what was then Arkansas College in Batesville. It was one of several multimillion-dollar gifts to the college, which in 1994 was renamed Lyon College.

Frank Lyon Sr. died in 1998, but Frank Jr. and his wife, Jane, have continued to give not only to the college but to other causes as well, including $2.5 million in 2007 to UAMS to create a longevity clinic at the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and to support the school's geriatrics department.    

16. Windgate Charitable Foundation Inc./Hutcheson Family
Like several of the philanthropists and their foundations listed here, the Windgate Foundation's assets rest on Wal-Mart stock.

William L. Hutcheson founded the Hutcheson Shoe Co. in Fort Smith in 1923. Wal-Mart bought the company in 1978, and its president, Bill Hutcheson Jr., became a Wal-Mart VP. His mother, Dorothea, founded the Windgate Foundation in 1993 with a gift of Wal-Mart stock.

The foundation, which intentionally keeps a low profile, focuses its giving on education. In 2005, it announced it was giving $10 million to create a Department for Education Reform at the College of Education & Health Professions at the UA.

Hutcheson family members comprise the foundation's board.

17. Bill and Margaret Clark
Bill Clark, founder of CDI Contractors, and his wife, Margaret, gave publicly and they gave privately. Mostly, perhaps, they gave of themselves.

When Bill Clark died of cancer in 2007, Warren Stephens, CEO of Stephens Inc., said: "It's a loss for his family, for sure, but it's a real loss for the community and the state. I thought the world of Bill Clark. He was always very generous with his time and money and any cause that he got behind. Leaders like that are hard to come by."

The much-loved Clark was instrumental in the $23 million capital campaign to expand the Arkansas Arts Center. The couple also raised money for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and the American Heart Association. In addition, Bill and Margaret Clark gave $1 million for an endowed chair of oncology at UAMS. 

18. Joe and Jo Ellen Ford/Scott Ford
The Ford family's money comes from Alltel Corp. and, in 2007, its sale of the company for $27.5 billion to TPG Capital and GS Capital Partners. In 2008, Verizon acquired Alltel for $28.1 billion.

Joe Ford's father-in-law was Hugh Wilbourn, who in 1943 founded what evolved into Alltel and whose daughter, Jo Ellen, Ford married. Joe Ford headed Alltel from 1987 until his retirement in 2002, when son Scott took the helm.

The family has given of both their time and money. In 1999, Alltel and Joe Ford promised to give $1.25 million to the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation to help build the Clinton Presidential Library. Jo Ellen has long been involved with UAMS. In 2000, Dr. Harry Ward, then-chancellor at UAMS, said, "The Center on Aging would not exist without Jo Ellen Ford." In 2007, the elder Fords pledged $1 million to the Arkansas Cancer Research Center at UAMS.

In June 2008, Scott Ford announced he was giving $2.5 million to Arkansas Baptist College to build a residence hall.

19. Richard C. and Gertrude Butler
Richard Butler and his wife, Gertrude "Gertie" Remmel Butler, were both active Little Rock philanthropists and civic leaders, with interests ranging from the United Methodist Church to Heifer International to Arkansas history to horticulture.

Butler, a lawyer and banker, created a trust that on his death in 1999 established a $10 million endowment for the United Methodist Foundation, which he had helped found. Gertie Butler, who died in 2007, gave Heifer International acreage for its new headquarters and $1 million for its planned global village. Richard Butler endowed what became the Richard C. Butler Sr. Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System's Main Library downtown.

20. Doyle W. and JosephineRaye Rogers/Rogers Family
Doyle W. Rogers of Batesville, a banker and real estate developer, his wife, Raye, and their family have given millions to education and health care in Arkansas.

In 2001, Doyle and Raye Rogers gave $1 million to the White River Medical Center in Batesville, seed money for what became the Josephine Raye Rogers Center for Women & Imaging. In 2005, the family pledged $1 million to renovate and expand the gymnasium at Lyon College. That project became the Rogers Health & Physical Education Center.

In 2007, the couple, along with their daughter and son-in-law, Barbara and Paul Hoover, and their son and daughter-in-law, Doyle "Rog" and Carolyn Rogers, gave $4 million to UAMS. The money went to build the lobby for the expansion of the UAMS Medical Center and to the Arkansas Cancer Research Center.

21. Fred K. Darragh
Fred Darragh was a Little Rock businessman known for his support of education and social justice causes.

He was a friend of Daisy and L.C. Bates, standing with them during the Central High desegregation crisis. Darragh helped found the Arkansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and backed the organization financially.

Darragh gave generously to the state's public libraries, and the Fred Darragh Center for Intellectual Freedom at the Central Arkansas Library System's Main Library and a lecture series were named in his honor.

Darragh died in 2003 at the age of 86, but the Fred Darragh Foundation maintains his tradition of giving.

22. Stella Boyle Smith
Stella Boyle Smith was among the founders of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and gave to arts organizations throughout her life. She also supported Arkansas Children's Hospital, St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, just to name a few of the entities that benefited from her largesse.

Her wealth stemmed from land holdings in Woodruff and Arkansas counties. Smith died in 1994 at the age of 100.

 23. Jennings Osborne
Let's call him the people's philanthropist. For every person who has tsk-tsked about the garishness of Jennings Osborne's Cantrell Road home light displays – particularly, back in the day, his Christmas lights – surely another thousand have enjoyed them, as well as the fireworks that he and his family provide during Riverfest and other community celebrations or the barbecue for too many occasions to name. He has helped clothe a governor (Mike Huckabee) and has fed President George W. Bush, but he also has feted President Bill Clinton and friends.

Osborne, who founded Arkansas Research Medical Testing in 1968 and sold it in 2004, has also helped light up Disney World, Graceland and Hot Springs.

"We do three things – Christmas lights, fireworks and barbecues," Osborne told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in 2002. "We find those three vehicles create a lot of memories. It's our gift to people who enjoy it." And they have.

24. Lily Peter
Lily Peter of Marvell, who died in 1991 at the age of 100, loved the arts. Miss Lily, as she was known to many, farmed 7,000 acres in Phillips County, wrote poetry and devoted herself to her causes, which included conservation. In 1971, Gov. Dale Bumpers named Peter the Poet Laureate of Arkansas, a title she held until her death.

She helped found the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and paid for a number of great musicians to perform in the state. She helped fund the Phillips County Community College Auditorium, which was named for her, and financed the college educations of many students.

25. The Arkansas Community Foundation/Pat Lile
The Arkansas Community Foundation isn't one philanthropist or even a family of philanthropists. It's a nonprofit that allows individual Arkansans, including those of average means – in addition to families, corporations and other nonprofits – to ensure their charitable donations make a lasting difference.

The foundation, which focuses on local issues, provides advice and resources to help givers make the most of their gifts.

Pat Lile, of Little Rock, assumed the leadership of the foundation in 1996, retiring last year. The foundation's assets grew from $15 million to $120 million during Lile's tenure. Lile also is a co-founder of Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families.

The ACF, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2007, got its seed money from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, and in 2005, the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation promised $18 million to help ACF open regional offices around Arkansas.


(Click here to see all the stories in our anniversary edition. Or click here to flip through each page of the edition in this special free electronic version.)