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UA Fort Smith Foundation, Inc. AdVances The Newsletter of the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith Foundation | February 2011 | Vol. 3 - No. 1 Tomorrow A L I B R A RY F O R Although UA Fort Smith’s current library was completed in 1987, it wasn’t named until several years later, when Sally and Rollie Boreham gave $1 million to create an endowment for purchasing books and equipment. Now more than 20 years, that gift still serves to keep the Boreham Library’s collections and technology relevant and modern. But UA Fort Smith—now primarily a four-year institution with twice the number of students it had when Boreham was dedicated—has outgrown its library. Raising funds for a major expansion and re-fit is one of five designated priorities of the Giving Opportunity campaign, and renderings of the new Learning and Resource Center were recently unveiled. They show a roughly 40,000-square-foot addition along the south side of the existing 30,000-square-foot library, with a huge expanse of south-facing glass to flood the stacks and reading areas with natural light. Red brick and precast concrete accents echoing Boreham’s exterior blend with contemporary elements that suggest this is truly a library of tomorrow. A new entry at the southwestern corner faces the Campus Green, while large sections of glass facing Waldron Road will radiate warm light in the evenings and reveal the activity inside, creating a strong sense of connection with the community. Impressive as the renderings are, the plans are equally so. They call for increasing total seating from 384 to 920, including 214 computer stations, and creating space for roughly 52,000 new volumes. A 24-hour study area and computer lab welcome night-owls, and a patio area offers pleasant outdoor seating. The addition will also house the Business and Entrepreneurship Research Center, a complex of hightech teleconferencing spaces, online research facilities, mentoring and instructional rooms, and interactive presentation venues available for university and community use and devoted to advancing economic development in the region—a key part of UA Fort Smith’s mission. The Foundation worked with project architects to identify prime naming opportunities at many different giving levels, including reading and study rooms, presentation spaces, computer labs, reserves rooms, and larger spaces. Contact Foundation Executive Director Marta Loyd at (479) 7887021 or visit to learn more about these opportunities. A F T E R 3 6 Y E A R S , F L A N D E R S R O TAT E S O F F B O A R D Flanders’ unprecedented gift—by far the largest the institution had ever received—did exactly that, not only energizing the campaign, but forever changing the community’s attitude toward the college. By the early 2000s, Westark had the largest per-student endowment of any two-year college participating in the national Voluntary Support of Education survey. At the end of 2010, having served on the UA Fort Smith/Westark Foundation board since the day it came into being 36 years ago, Don Flanders rotated off. “I’m proud of the University,” he said recently. “If someone comes to visit from out of town, the first thing I do is drive them out there. It’s a beautiful campus, and it’s a unifying force across the community, too. I feel like we’ve played a part in that, and I think we’ve just begun to see what can happen in the future.” To say simply that Flanders “played a part” in making UA Fort Smith the University it is today feels like a dramatic understatement, as does saying the University and the Foundation deeply appreciate his nearly four decades of service, generosity, and friendship. 5210 Grand Avenue • Fort Smith, AR 72903 One day in the fall of 1988, as the fledgling Westark Foundation was embarking on its first-ever major gifts campaign, Jim Alexander and William R. Walker, who were leading the campaign, paid a visit to Don Flanders and named an amount they said they’d like to see him give. Flanders considered for a moment and then asked Walker and Alexander what their goal was for the campaign. Three million dollars, they told him. “Well,” said Flanders, “the level of giving around here is going to have to change in order to do that. So I’ll tell you what—I’m going to give you 10 times what you just asked me for and maybe that will cause some other people to do something that’s really going to help the college.” “With the completion of the Lion’s Den, we believe that a steadily increasing number of this area’s brightest and most energetic high school graduates will choose UA Fort Smith,” said Board of Visitors member Peggy Weidman (above) at a November ribbon cutting ceremony for the new residential complex. “And when those students attend college here—instead of in central Arkansas, or Fayetteville, or out of state—they’re more likely to live and work here after graduation.” To see photos of the state-of-the-art facility and learn more about how it’s making UA Fort Smith more attractive to high-achieving students seeking the “traditional” college experience, visit

Advances, February 2011

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