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UAMS Received $360K For Nursing Programs, Scholarships

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The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has received a $360,000 gift from the Harvey and Bernice Jones Charitable Trust to support nursing in northwest Arkansas.

The gift establishes the Harvey and Bernice Jones Endowed Fund for Nursing Excellence, which will support the UAMS College of Nursing programs in the region and provide scholarships to graduate-level nursing students practicing there.

The money will be distributed to the college over the next six years.

Over the last three years, with contributions from the Jones Charitable Trust, private donors and the Springdale-based Excellerate Foundation (formerly Endeavor), the college has awarded $117,000 in scholarships. Students typically receive $5,000 each year to help them earn their graduate nursing degrees.

“Gifts from the Jones Charitable Trust, when complemented with grants from Excellerate Foundation, have the potential to transform nursing education and nursing care in northwest Arkansas,” Patricia Cowan, dean of the UAMS College of Nursing, said in a news release. “Our nursing students will benefit from this generosity for years to come.”

The Joneses grew up in northwest Arkansas. Harvey Jones founded his transportation business in 1918 at age 18 when the railroad was on strike. Jones Truck Lines grew into the largest privately owned and operated fleet in America.

The couple also helped build Springdale Memorial Hospital, now Northwest Medical Center, in the 1940s. They funded the coronary care unit, opened a hotel for patients’ families, and purchased equipment for the eye care unit.

Their service on the Springdale Hospital board spanned 51 years, and Bernice Jones started the hospital’s auxiliary.

In 1957, the couple formed the Jones Foundation and provided college scholarships to Springdale High School students who were interested in nursing school. That scholarship program later became the Har-Ber School of Nursing.

In 1995, Bernice Jones made a legacy gift, establishing the Jones Center for Families in Springdale.

The Joneses have been contributing to UAMS since 1985, and established the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute at the UAMS Little Rock campus.

Harvey Jones died in 1989; Bernice Jones died in 2003.

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