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SAU Gets $654K in Grants From Windgate Foundation

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Southern Arkansas University of Magnolia said Tuesday that it had received grants totaling $653,774 from the nonprofit Windgate Foundation and will use the money for its art and design program and scholarships.

“This is truly a transformational gift for SAU and the Department of Art and Design,” SAU President Trey Berry said in a news release. “The essence of what we do at SAU centers on our students. The Windgate Foundation shares this focus on student success. We have seen first-hand the lives that have been touched through the Windgate Scholarship Program.”

The total amount of grant money includes:

  • An endowment of $500,000 to provide annual resources for tools and technology to elevate instruction within the Department of Art and Design.
  • A bridge grant of $53,744 for “immediate enhancement” of instruction within the department.
  • $100,000 to continue funding for the SAU Windgate Scholarship Program during the 2023-24 academic year. The program provides need-based scholarships for at-risk students.

“When we visited the SAU campus earlier this year, we were impressed with the facilities and the many academic and extra-curricular opportunities available for students,” Windgate Foundation Executive Director Patricia Forgy said. “This, along with a strong leadership team, provides a level of comfort in expanding our partnership into the future.”

SAU has about 4,100 students.

The Windgate Foundation was endowed in 1993, using a gift of Walmart stock from Dorothea Hutcheson of Fort Smith. Its mission is to advance contemporary craft and strengthen visual arts education in the U.S., and it also supports children and youth in Arkansas.

The foundation has funded projects all over the country. In Arkansas, it’s given multimillion-dollar gifts to universities, colleges and other institutions.

Some of its recent projects have supported construction of arts buildings — $20.3 million to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, $20 million to the University of Central Arkansas, and $40 million to University of Arkansas at Fayetteville for an entire arts district that will include the Windgate Studio & Design Center.

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