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Advances University of Arkansas - Fort Smith Foundation, Inc.

The Newsletter of the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith Foundation | December 2014 | Vol. 6 - No. 1


Twenty years ago Betty Scarborough received a call asking her to take part in a new project. Thus far that project has yielded more than $460,000 in earnings and helped more than 50 students attend the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. The Mollie Wilson Women’s Financial Series began with a two-fold purpose: educate women about the stock market using real money and provide scholarships with the earnings. “They have helped so many students and will continue to do so in the future,” said Mary Lackie, vice chancellor for university advancement. “An added bonus is that this is just a delightful group of women to be engaged with us at the university.” Group members, at their own discretion, contribute between $500 and $1,000 each year as dues. That money goes into the portfolio to be used to buy and trade stocks. They also pay a $125 fee to help defray group expenses such as the monthly luncheons.

“This is a good chance for women to get more comfortable with making financial decisions if they have to take over the family finances sometime,” Scarborough said. On the first Thursday of every month, the women meet at UAFS. During the morning study group, members present recommendations to the rest of the group. They also hear from David Craig, owner of October Wealth Advisors, who acts as financial advisor for the group. Before they break for lunch, the women vote on the group’s investment decisions, on what stocks to buy or to sell. “We’ve beaten the S&P (Standard and Poor’s 500 Index) lots of quarters,” Scarborough said. “We suffered the downturn of 2008, but we’ve come back.” The group averages a return of 7 percent by studying and investing in publicly traded stocks. Scarborough attributes their success to the collective wisdom of women from a variety of backgrounds from professionals to homemakers, along with the guidance of Craig. “It’s amazing how savvy they are when choosing stocks. There’s been a lot of learning,” she said. “Frankly, it’s a good place to get stock tips to use in your own portfolio because of the research we do.” But the women’s goal has never been just to earn money. They earn to give. Mollie Wilson, a consultant at October Wealth Advisors, approached the UAFS Foundation in 1994 about creating the program to help educate women about finances and investment. She envisioned it having a greater purpose by it helping others have better lives through college scholarships. Carolyn Moore, then director of development, caught Wilson’s vision and the two women worked to turn it into reality. After Wilson’s death in 1997, the group renamed itself in her honor and continued chasing her vision. In the following years, the group’s portfolio has continued to rise. In 1997, the group had a portfolio balance of $102,000. By October 2014, the portfolio had increased to more than $650,000 with stocks ranging from Zillow to Tractor Supply Company.

David Craig, owner of October Wealth Advisors, discusses potential stock purchases with members of the Mollie Wilson Women’s Financial Series. “Our focus is not to have a half-million dollar portfolio. It’s to learn and give the money away,” Scarborough said. “We have certainly more than achieved our goals.” Until 2013-14, the number of scholarships the group provided varied between two to 11, depending on the group’s earnings. However, when the group’s portfolio crossed $550,000, they decided to give an additional $35,000 a year for scholarships. When students are selected for the scholarship, it is renewable for two additional years. For 2014-15, that equaled 12 scholarships worth $37,500.

The women know they’re making a difference in lives and that university graduates will have a higher earning power than those who only earn high school degrees. They also know they’re changing families’ stories. “There’s a lot of first-in-their-family college students at UAFS. That can start a new tradition in their families,” Scarborough said. “That’s what it’s going to take to move Arkansas up in the state rankings in the number of graduates.”

Mollie Wilson Women’s Financial Series Scholarships $40,000 $35,000 $30,000 $25,000 $20,000 $15,000 $10,000 $5,000 0

2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15

Number of scholarships awarded

5210 Grand Avenue P.O. Box 3649 Fort Smith, AR 72913

Scarborough, with her background in finance and who was then working as a bank controller, was a natural to ask to be involved. But many in the group have little or no financial backgrounds. Group members seem to fall into two categories: those whose husbands handle all of the finances and financial decisions and those women who handle the day-to-day finances while their husbands handle the investments.



The holidays are a natural time to reflect back on the previous year and the whirlwind of activity that takes place at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. I am always humbled and thankful when I stop and think about the numerous, generous people who choose to give of themselves and their resources to help make a college education a reality for our students. Whether the gifts are to support scholarships or to support specific university programs, all of it improves the quality of education we offer, helps to give students access to that education, and changes the lives of students and their families for generations to come.

Allison Reeves’ first try at college in 2005 didn’t go so well. She failed algebra and lost her scholarship so she could only afford to pay for one class that spring semester. That spring she married and a few months later discovered she was pregnant. Working became more important than studying and she left school. Six years later the marriage ended and Reeves began to rethink her future. “When you go through life changes you think ‘What do I do now?’” she said. While she had a good job working for a bank, she found herself waitressing on weekends to pay for childcare during the week.

With this season of giving in mind, I shared some of my favorite quotes about giving at the recent G.C. Hardin luncheon where we thank those who have left a legacy gift to UAFS through their estates or through established endowments:

“Thank God for my mom, I couldn’t have made it without her,” she said.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

As Reeves handled bank transactions and cleared tables, her thoughts turned again and again to college.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill “There’s no better exercise for strengthening the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” – John Andres Holmes

Allison Reeves

“The heart that gives, gathers.” – Tao Te Ching “I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” – Maya Angelou

This time she thrived at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. In her second year back, she received the Mollie Wilson Women’s Financial Series Scholarship. She had quit the banking job when she returned to school, but she still worked more than 40 hours a week waiting tables in addition to studying for her full load of classes and being a mother to her son, Zeke.

“No one is useless in this world, who lightens the burden of it for anyone else.” – Charles Dickens “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” – Mother Teresa These quotes remind us that giving not only benefits the recipient, but also the giver.

Thank you for your support of UAFS! Please don’t hesitate to contact me at 479-788-7021 or via my email at to discuss your ideas for helping our students.

“I was 25, a single mom, trying to figure out who I was. That first year back was really tough for me,” she said. “Seeing that people care (by receiving the scholarship) got me out of my shell. It got me involved on campus because I saw that people do care.” The scholarship also gave her another gift: time.

In this issue of Advances, you can read about the specific impact of some of the gifts we have received and how they benefit our students. You can also read about some ways that people are giving to support the university through means other than direct gifts. Our cover story is about The Mollie Wilson Women’s Financial Series, a group of women who are learning about investing and are supporting scholarships for UAFS students through their portfolio earnings. The story about the collaboration between UAFS and Amerigreen Worldwide is a great example of a company providing real world opportunities for our students, and with oversight from faculty experts, our students are creating documentation and safety recommendations for a machine which will benefit the company. Partnerships between UAFS and business/industry such as this benefit everyone. As you can see, contributing to the success of UAFS students comes in many forms. It can be giving monetary gifts, making UAFS a part of estate plans, providing internships and other learning opportunities for students, hiring graduates, and encouraging students to choose UAFS as their institution for higher education — all things which help us to become an even stronger institution.

“I thought you have this chance, this opportunity, you need to take it,” she said. “It was something positive for me and it would set an example for my son.”

“I was able to cut back on the hours I worked and I was able to have a life with my son,” Reeves said. She also basked in the warmth of strangers believing in her as she worked toward a bachelor’s degree in English while minoring in sociology. “I don’t know if they really realize how much they influence, encourage and support us,” she said. “I’m so thankful for them being the example that we need and actually caring about us. Just knowing that they’re in my corner and they support me is a huge blessing. That is what has helped me get through this.” After she gives birth to her daughter Emileigh in December, Reeves, with the support of her mother and sister, as well as the Financial Series Scholarship, will be ready to face her last 18 hours of classwork so she can graduate in May 2015. But that’s just another new beginning. Reeves plans to pursue her master’s in sociology and eventually pursue her doctorate. She wants to research gender theory — how femininity and masculinity are perceived in society — and how it is taught or transmitted to children. Reeves describes gender studies as a growing field of study. “We should treat everyone with the respect they deserve and that’s where we need to get in our society,” she said. “It starts with our little ones.” Attending UAFS with the help of the scholarship helped Reeves develop a plan for her life and find her passions.

“I know what I want to do now,” she said. “I know I can accomplish my plan. I’m not going to stop short of accomplishing my goals, making a difference for myself and other people.”


Mary Bane Lackie Executive Director, UAFS Foundation Vice Chancellor for University Advancement

photo by Rachel Putnam

Work continues on the Windgate School of Art and Design, which will open to students in the Fall of 2015. A $2.5 million campaign is underway to raise money for a matching grant. For more information on the campaign and naming opportunities, please visit:

A D VA N C ES - The Newsletter of the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith Foundation | December 2014 | Vol. 6 - No. 1


Mike Kindellan is changing the world one cardboard pallet at a time. And he’s hiring University of Arkansas - Fort Smith students to help him do it. Kindellan, the managing partner of the Missouri-based environmental company Amerigreen Worldwide, created a machine that manufactures cardboard pallets — a cheaper, environmental alternative to their wooden counterparts — after working three decades in the logistics field where he found his biggest problem stemmed from pallets. “They weighed too much, they hurt people, and they also damaged products,” Kindellan said. “Our cardboard pallet weighs five to 10 pounds versus a regular hardwood pallet that weighs roughly 80 pounds. And they won’t ever hurt you. The worst you can do is get a paper cut.” The concept has the potential to transform the logistics industry, with cost-savings in the millions for companies that make the switch from wooden to cardboard. There was only one problem: the machine that created the pallets wasn’t functional, and it didn’t have any drawings or documentation. That’s where UAFS came in. University officials met with Amerigreen Worldwide and convinced them that UAFS had the

resources to assist them with the project, including several faculty members with experience working in industry. “They were a little leery at first. But we convinced them that we have the expertise and we have the background,” said Kerrie Taber, project manager for the venture and interim department head of the applied science and organizational leadership programs at UAFS. The result was four students — Shirley Carter of Fort Smith, Dalen Surls of Cedarville, Luede Yang of Booneville and Ntxuzone Yang of Fort Smith — working internships to create documentation and safety recommendations for the machine, which is currently housed in Fort Smith. It also provides hands-on experience for students like Surls, who values the chance to work in a real-world environment and learn skills he hopes will help him find a job when he graduates. “I will be doing a lot of things with the software that will help me in not only this experience but with future jobs too,” Surls said. “It’s not every day that you see something like this done. Machines like this are normally put on paper first then built, but this is the other way around. I’m doing something that not

photo by Trenton Thompson

Dalen Surls works on documentation and safety recommendations for the machine that manufactures cardboard pallets. many people get to do and it’s something that I enjoy at the same time.”

we’re able to tie in what they learned in the classroom to the work they’re doing.”

The internships are unorthodox because of their format, which has the students working for the company but with UAFS faculty serving as the supervisors, an arrangement that is the best of both worlds for students.

The 16-week project is the first in what Taber hopes is a series of jobs UAFS students will complete for both Amerigreen Worldwide and other companies.

“Normally they work for the company and the supervisor overseeing their work is at the company,” Taber said. “With us as the supervisors, we know what they’ve learned and what they should know. So

“UAFS has a history of responding to the needs of industry, and creating partnerships for students to work with those companies is a new and exciting development for us,” Taber said.

FINDING A HOME Jordan Watson came to UAFS expecting to study chemistry. After a few weeks in that class, he realized it wasn’t for him. But he realized he always enjoyed business-related activities. Even as a child he liked playing with a toy cash register. He collects coins and has sifted through hundreds of dollars worth looking for coins he needed in his collection of state quarters. He switched his major to accounting. “The first few weeks being in accounting class I felt less stressed than being in chemistry,” said the junior from Harrison, Arkansas. He also added criminal justice as a minor as he wants to go into forensic accounting. “I’m more interested in figuring out what’s missing than sitting behind a desk looking at books to see what’s going on,” he said. Watson found his way to UAFS through his girlfriend, who planned to study dental hygiene. When he visited the campus, he found a small campus with beautiful landscaping. “It felt homey,” he said. Watson receives the Chancellor’s Leadership Council Scholarship, which covers tuition, books, and living expenses. That scholarship sealed his decision to attend UAFS. He knew it would give him freedom now while he’s in school and in the future. “It gives me the opportunity to do more with student organizations, to help reach out to other students,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about going to class, going to work and trying to get more hours to study.” Watson is active in the Student Alumni Association and Phi Beta Lambda. In the classroom, Watson found professors who remembered his name and more.

Photo by Anna Neal

“The class sizes allow you to get to know your professors,” he said. “You can go to them for help. They want you to learn.”

Jordan Watson

UAFS FOUNDATION, INC. BOARD OF DIRECTORS John Taylor, Chair Judy McReynolds, Vice Chair Mark Moll, Treasurer Tim Shields, Secretary Leo Anhalt Doug Babb Cliff Beckham

Kent Blochberger Lyn Caselman William Cooper David Cravens Dwight Curry Carl Davis Dr. Tony deMondesert

Jason Green Peggy Ann Hadley Bill Hanna Frank Hug Jr. Clifford Lyon John McFarland Roger Meek Jr.

Robert Miller Neal Pendergraft Sue Plattner-Smith Samuel T. Sicard Nancy Smith-Robinson Susan McMahon Taylor James Walcott Jr.

William S. Walker Jim Williamson Jr. Kim Wohlford Robert Young III

A D VA N CES - The Newsletter of the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith Foundation | December 2014 | Vol. 6 - No. 1

In Memory of Victor Beran Anonymous Donor Barbara and Leo Anhalt Carole and George Beattie Adela and John Beran Arleene and Randall Breaux Kathleen K. and Robert Cates Anna Conner Susan, Ed, Grace and Gabby Devero Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce Carolyn and Charles Hankins Sandra and S.J. Hartsfield Wesley Herber Family Karla and Rusty Jacobs Mary Bane and Bill Lackie Judy and Larry Loux Drs. Greg and Marta M. Loyd Sandy and John Mayhan Nadine Hardin-Miller and Robert Miller Douglas and Lynn Nancarrow Sharon and Kenneth Norris Loretta and Doug Parker Donnie Pendergraft Connie Phillips Annette and Quinton Raab Liz and Jerry Richards Edwarda Roeder Diana Rowden Cheryl and Roy Schirmer Harry Shipley Nancy Smith-Robinson and Harry Robinson Linda and Buddy Spradlin Wanda Srygley Mary Beth Sudduth and Carr Racop Elizabeth Underwood and Kristian Underwood L VanOsdol Pat and Louis Vrazel Bill Steve Walker Peggy and Bill Weidman Bobbie Wohlford Rose Bethell Cheryl and Roy Schirmer Chris Whitt Roland S. Boreham, Jr. Lorellee and Richard Wolters

Gifts made May 1, 2014, through October 31, 2014

Billy Cole Glidewell Distributing Company, Inc.

Paul Hurst Glidewell Distributing Company, Inc.

Joel Davidson Glidewell Distributing Company, Inc.

Ira Jones Glidewell Distributing Company, Inc.

Walter Davidson, Jr. Phyllis Davidson

Betty Klusmeier Cheryl and Roy Schirmer

P.J. Douglas Sheridan A. Douglas

Daniel C. Martinez, Jr. Randy Swaim

Mattalee Fawcett Alex and Katie Baumeister Joel and Callie Dolloff Becky and John Womack Nelda Deen Womack

Christie Gilstrap Morgan Valarie Arnoldussen Linda and Roger Parker Pam and Mike Phillips

Dr. T.A. Feild III Katherine Feild Kitty Jo Holohan Mitchell Fountain UAFS Business Office Gerald Geren Leisha Burford and Steve Knight Danny Gibson James Gibson Stanley G. Glass Sharon and Mike Daniels Darren Griffith Leisha Burford and Steve Knight Rosemary Gross Glidewell Distributing Company, Inc. Marjorie Harris Guilliams Shirley and Charles Guilliams Doris Needham Linda Kern Hall Anonymous Donor Edward Dewey Hardin Anonymous Donor Tom Harmon Karen Harmon Blake Harper Nancy and Ewell Lee Glen Henderson Carol and Jim Glidewell LaVerne Davis Hudson Brenda and Carl Davis

Pat Parker Glidewell Distributing Company, Inc. Sharon Kay Poore Genelle and Dave Newton Annette Putnam Luween* and David* Smith Dr. Frances Ralston Brenda Yelvington and J. Lavon Morton Nick Raynor Peggy and Bill Weidman Robert Wesley Rhodes Glidewell Distributing Company, Inc. Donald Rogers Reverend Herschel and Mardell McClurkin Landis Shelton Mary Lou Kelly John Maddox Smith Jorgette and John Smith, Jr. Lucille Speakman Selma and Chuck Moody Ron Walker Nadine Long and Angela Milewski Tim Wall Lea Anne and Clint Brooks Stephen Husarik Ann-Gee Lee Rosario Nolasco-Schultheiss Mary Sobhani Ann and Robert Winters Claris and Harold Wallace Carol and Darrell Hill

Mary Sue Warnock Betty Brown Carlile Linda and Buddy Spradlin Larry Weigand Anonymous Donor Jill Guerra and Ignacio Guerra Carolyn Holdsworth and Myron Rigsby Jack E. White Michael and Carolyn Brown Doyle Willis Glidewell Distributing Company, Inc. John M. Wilson Matthew Ackerman and Family Advanced Workzone Services, LLC Association of Oklahoma General Contractors, Inc. J.B. and Michelle Berry Brenda Browning Matt Bruner Janae and Al Campbell Karen L. Campbell Linda and Richard Carlisle and Family Bruce and Lyn Caselman Anesa Chaibi Vivian Lane Counts Genice and Bryant Dooly, Jr. James “J. L.” Grigsby Karin and Dick Hahn Adele Jackson Henrietta Justice Patricia Kelly Pam and Buddy McMahon Kathy and Robert Millard Jo Frances Miller Jane Dills Morgan Douglas and Lynn Nancarrow Richard Noble Colleen and Ron Orick Donnie Pendergraft The Rhino Club (Michael Grice) Judy Russell Schuster Enterprises, Inc. Ruth and Marvin Schuster Kristi and David Wilson


In Honor of Kyle Brown Lisa Brown

Johan’s Limousine Service, Inc. Diane and Kenny King McLane Company Summerwood Corporation

David Craig Anthony Clay Phyllis Davidson Inge Davidson Pat Eller Genelle and Dave Newton Sam Fiori Collections Floral, Inc. (Mary Charlton) Jan and Bob Cooper Lori and David Cravens Candace and Todd Curtis Golden Corral Leslie and Mark Hampel Laura and Philip Hindman

Rick Goins Peter Leer Mark Horn John Allison Jo Donna and Bob Collins Sharon and Mike Daniels Carolyn Filippelli Bonnie and Jim Harmon Stephen Husarik Drs. Greg and Marta M. Loyd Jan and John Martini Sandy and John Mayhan Sandy and Larry McGowan

Fnu Mihir Genelle and Dave Newton L VanOsdol Christy Williams Lois J. and Gary L. Yocum Barbara Karber Anonymous Donor Laurel Roberts Kidd Gordon Kidd Sondra LaMar Genelle and Dave Newton Marta M. Loyd Genelle and Dave Newton

Brenda Mitchell Genelle and Dave Newton Jorgette Smith John M. Smith, Jr. The Mike Stec Family Lori and Tim Shields Ray Wallace Genelle and Dave Newton John M. Wilson Janae and Al Campbell Liz Winford Anonymous Donor

Maggie Malloy Peggy and Bill Weidman

University of Arkansas - Fort Smith Foundation, Inc. • 5210 Grand Avenue • Fort Smith, AR 72903 • 479-788-7020

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