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Brian Wolff Gives UA Blair Center $1M

2 min read

University of Arkansas alumnus Brian Wolff of the Edison Electric Institute in Washington, D.C., has committed a $1 million planned gift to the university’s Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.

Wolff is a Pine Bluff native and the first person in his family to graduate from college. He is executive vice president of public policy and external affairs for Edison, an association representing U.S. investor-owned electric companies.

Wolff studied under Blair, the center’s namesake, who died in 2000. The research center was established in 2001 with a $3 million U.S. Congressional appropriation that was put into an endowment.

“Diane highlighted unconscious bias and opened our eyes to it,” Wolff said in a UA news release. “When I thought about providing a gift to the university and what effect it would have, I thought about Diane and the body of work being done in the Blair Center.”

Blair was a professor of political science, an advisor for and historian of the Clinton-Gore presidential campaigns, a public servant and a noted advocate for Arkansas women. She was posthumously inducted into the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame in August.

“We are so grateful for Brian’s generous gift,” Angie Maxwell, director of the Blair Center, said. “His support will help our research continue to flourish in this vitally needed area of scholarship. Southern politics have all too often been oversimplified and misunderstood. The center’s aim is to help contextualize and understand the past and present political culture of the American South and how this impacts us all.”

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