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Advances University of Arkansas - Fort Smith Foundation, Inc. The Newsletter of the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith Foundation | December 2012 | Vol. 4 - No. 2 A Broader Net THE UAFS FOUNDATION’S ANNUAL Scholarship Banquet has grown dramatically in recent years, filling the Stubblefield Center on a Tuesday evening this October with more than 350 scholars, donors, representatives, and other guests. Scholarship students thanked “their” donors, donors heard about students’ plans and ambitions, and both got to see firsthand that scholarships are much, much more than an impersonal transfer of resources—that they are, in fact, gifts in the truest sense of the word, from one person to another. Near the end of the evening, Foundation Executive Director Dr. Marta Loyd (left in photo) exhorted students With $20 million given for scholarships during the Giving Opportunity campaign, UAFS donors are helping more students every year. to capitalize on the opportunities they’d been given by persevering through to graduation, reminding them that donors, by giving, are in effect saying, “We believe in you. We’ll help you. Just keep going.” Along the way, Loyd noted that just 20 percent of adults in Arkansas hold bachelor’s degrees, well below the national average, and that finances are among the primary reasons they either don’t attend college in the first place, or enroll but then stop out before graduation. Private supporters of the University are doing more every year to change that. In the 2003-04 academic year, just before the start of the Giving Opportunity campaign, the Foundation disbursed $619,000 in scholarships to help 355 students attend UAFS. Last year, $972,000 went to help 460 deserving students. That’s 26 percent more students helped and a 21 percent bigger average award—the result of an incredible $20.1 million given in support of endowed scholarships since the beginning of the campaign. As the number of jobs available with only a high school education keeps shrinking and the wage gap between high school and college-educated workers keeps growing, that kind of support is more important than ever—not just to the students themselves, but to our region, state, and nation. ARVEST NAMES GALLERY AT SECOND STREET WHEN UAFS ACQUIRED THE 18,000-square-foot Second Street Live building in downtown Fort Smith in the summer of 2012, it got not just a new performance venue, but also a lovely gallery space for exhibiting student, faculty, and alumni art, as well as occasional traveling exhibits. Now Arvest Bank has made a generous gift to name that gallery. “Arvest is very focused on economic development in Fort Smith and the River Valley,” says regional CEO Craig Rivaldo, a UAFS alumnus. “By partnering with UAFS at Second Street, we can help bring art and entertainment to our area, which is vital for quality of place and economic growth.” The new Arvest Gallery showcases student art to a significantly wider audience than on-campus exhibit spaces, as well as providing students the hands-on opportunity to learn about running such a gallery. Located just inside the main entrance, it can be enjoyed not only during scheduled exhibits, but also before and after performances at the venue. Arvest has long been a valued partner to UAFS, giving to support not only the cultural arts as a major sponsor of the Season of Entertainment, but also economic development as the sponsor of the quarterly Fort Smith Regional Economic Outlook Report, published by the University’s College of Business. Several other naming opportunities remain available at the Second Street facility. Contact the Foundation at (479) 788-7020 for further information. ‘A FITTING TRIBUTE­’– John Lewellen, Sr., simply loved being outside. It didn’t matter what he was doing; as long as he was outdoors, he was a happy man. So when John Lewellen, Jr. (above)—who had wanted for years to do something to publicly honor his father—heard this spring about the opportunity to name the outdoor reading area being built along the northwest side of UAFS’s Boreham Library, he knew it was exactly the thing he’d been waiting for. “It’s a small way for me to honor him,” says Lewellen, Jr., who owns several successful pawn shops in the Fort Smith area. “If it weren’t for my dad, I wouldn’t be where I am. Period. He gave me the tools to grow to the point I’ve grown.” The John Lewellen, Sr., Outdoor Reading Area is scheduled for completion in spring 2013, along with a major renovation of Boreham Library. 5210 Grand Avenue • Fort Smith, AR 72903

Advances Winter 2012

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