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UA Fort Smith Foundation, Inc.

AdVances The Newsletter of the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith Foundation | July 2010 | Vol. 2 - No. 1

Meet UMA

On a gorgeous, breezy April afternoon at the Stubblefield Center, UA Fort Smith and the Fort Smith community were first introduced to Numa, a 15-foot, 2,000-pound bronze sculpture commissioned with funds from estate gifts made by Pearl D. Raney and Sally McSpadden Boreham. It was more than a year ago that Janice Beran, wife of Chancellor Paul B. Beran, Ph.D., initially envisioned a striking, larger-than-life representation of the University’s mascot and formed a diverse committee of energetic, dedicated people from throughout the University and community to help realize that vision.

The sculptor the committee chose, North Carolina’s Jon Hair, has more than 30 major public art commissions to his credit, including a 35-foot bronze-and-steel monument at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado. Local companies engineered, designed, and constructed Numa’s pedestal and the surrounding plaza. Numa is intended not only to serve as a dramatic embodiment of the University’s spirit and culture, a piece around which traditions will be built, but also as a showpiece and symbol for the greater Fort Smith community, to which UA Fort Smith owes so much gratitude for more than eight decades of support. Over the years, the University’s mascot, like the institution it represents, has taken a variety of forms. They have ranged from snuggly to savage, realistic to modernistic, but Numa is hands-down the most imposing incarnation in UA Fort Smith’s 82-year history. Stop by and say hello next time you’re in the area—but watch those teeth.

The Numa Society

Numa may be the first major commissioned outdoor sculpture on the UA Fort Smith campus, but he won’t be the last. The UA Fort Smith Foundation recently

created the Numa Society to help raise funds for additional pieces. Fifty charter members are invited to give $3,000 each (or pledge $3,000 over three years)

to be used for commissioning additional pieces of sculpture. As a commemorative gift, charter members will receive one of only 50 limited-edition, numbered

Happy Birthday, Donnie! Mrs. Donnie Pendergraft celebrated her 80th birthday March 27 at an afternoon party on the UA Fort Smith campus with her family, friends, and 19 “Pendergraft Kids”—students and alumni who have benefited from scholarships funded by the Pendergraft family. Those 19 were only a small contingent of the 90 UA Fort Smith graduates the Pendergrafts have helped over the years with more than $270,000 in total scholarships. Today, those graduates, who hold degrees in fields ranging from accounting to athletic training and radiography to rhetoric, live and work across the central U.S. from Mississippi to Wisconsin. Now that’s impact!

bronze maquettes—miniatures of Numa on black granite bases. Contact the Foundation at (479) 7887020 or to learn more.

FoundatioN Scholarships by the Numbers 572

Of the students who graduated in May 2010, had benefited along the way from Foundationfunded scholarships–scholarships funded entirely by private gifts from individuals, corporations, and other foundations.


47ofbachelor’s those 90 Foundation scholars earned degrees,

40 earned associate degrees, and

The Foundation disbursed a total of

3 earned certificates.


to them over their UA Fort Smith careers– per bachelor and an average of

$4,110.50 $3119.31

per associate.

They ranged in age from (a man who earned an associate degree in electronics technology) to (a woman who earned an associate degree in nursing technology). of them were from Sebastian County, from Crawford County, and from Oklahoma.





Of their


fields of study, the most 29 different common four-year majors were nursing

and business administration, with The most common two-year major was dental hygiene, with


graduates each.

14 graduates.

They maintained an average GPA of through fall ’09, and of them, Whitney Webb of Fort Smith–who was one of national finalists for StuNurse magazine’s nursing student of the year honor–maintained a perfect on the way to her bachelor’s in nursing.





5210 Grand Avenue • Fort Smith, AR 72903

From the Executive Director Sweetening the Pot When Donnie Pendergraft made the gift to fund the Neal Pendergraft Endowed Professorship in Accounting in honor of her son, her goal was to help UA Fort Smith mature as a regional university. That goal was realized in April when renowned teacher-scholar Dr. Amelia Baldwin accepted the position, citing the endowed professorship as a key factor in her choice to come here.

A Deepening Commitment When Cooper Clinic CEO Doug Babb taught a course at UA Fort Smith, he saw his younger self in his students—and had to help.

Kathy and Doug Babb’s endowment supports business students

Top professors like Dr. Baldwin are aggressively recruited, especially in high-demand areas like business, health sciences, and information technology, so our ability to “sweeten the pot” can make a very real difference in whether they decide to teach at UA Fort Smith or somewhere else.

with financial need,

Endowed professorships and chairs not only carry a great deal of prestige, but also provide stipends to effectively increase compensation and offer additional funds that can be used for research activities, conference attendance, equipment, student opportunities, and more.

leadership courses at

and Doug, who serves as Cooper Clinic’s CEO, teaches evening

UA Fort Smith.

Recruiting exceptional faculty is critical to the University’s mission. While gifts that fund scholarships may help students in a more direct and quantifiable way, faculty support has a profound and lasting effect on the overall stature of the institution. That’s not to say that great professors don’t immediately impact the students they teach. They certainly do. But over time, high-caliber teacher-scholars like Dr. Baldwin enhance the quality of instruction across the whole University by mentoring other faculty members, launching innovative new programs, furthering research, attracting grant money, and helping recruit stronger students. You can think of it as a sort of “upward spiral.”

“We don’t want to see

At the first meeting of the senior-level leadership course he taught at UA Fort Smith last spring, Doug Babb asked for all the students who were in the first generation of their families to attend college to raise their hands. Most of them did. So did Babb, who in his “day job” serves as CEO of Cooper Clinic. Remember also that these highly educated and motivated people become valued members not just of the University community, Then he asked those who were working but also of the greater Fort Smith community—as citizens, full-time to pay for school with little or no neighbors, parents, consumers, voters, and volunteers. financial support from their families to raise their hands. Again, lots of hands. And again, Our University currently benefits from five endowed chairs and Babb’s own. professorships in business, music, and nursing. Our goal, Ultimately, Babb, who had never before though, is to eventually have at least one such position in taught a college class, and his students, every department. We have faith that our community donors who had likely never before met a top-level and alumni will see how profoundly they can impact our University by helping us recruit more great professors like executive, discovered they shared remarkably Dr. Baldwin. similar experiences. “We just got off on really good footing,” says Please feel free to contact me at (479) 788-7020 or Babb, who was himself a first-generation student to learn more about the and who worked his way through a local university ways you can give to support faculty development at and later through law school. UA Fort Smith. As the semester continued, Babb learned that many of his students weren’t just balancing work and family Best regards, with school—they were struggling to make ends meet. Some of them couldn’t afford textbooks. Others—even juniors and seniors with solid grades—were worried their finances would run out before graduation. Marta M. Loyd, Ed.D. “To me,” says Babb, “it was just a compelling need.” In Executive Director, UA Fort Smith Foundation response, he and his wife, Kathy, decided to make a generous Vice Chancellor for University Advancement endowment gift that will help business students with financial need pay tuition, buy books, and participate in academic activities—conferences, for example—they might not otherwise be able to afford.

anybody…quit within a “We don’t want to see anybody drop semester or two of making out because they it because they didn’t have couldn’t afford a textbook and got a somebody to push them bad grade,” Babb says, over the finish line.” “or quit within a semester or two of making it because they didn’t have somebody to push them over the finish line.” It was Kathy who inspired Doug’s growing involvement with education. A tireless supporter of public schools, she is a past Chair of the board of the Fort Smith Public Schools Foundation and has been PTA President at several schools. With Kathy’s involvement in public schools, though, Babb says he “felt his commitment needed to be in higher education.” In addition to funding the Kathy and Doug Babb Endowed Fund with his wife, Babb—who also serves on the Dean’s Leadership Council for the College of Business and on the University’s Board of Visitors—will teach his leadership course again in the fall and for as long afterward, he says, “as they’ll have me.” While it might look like a coup for the University to count a prominent local executive among its faculty, Babb sees it differently. The teaching assignment was the unexpected result of a lunch with Dr. Steve Williams, Dean of the College of Business, and Babb says, “It’s an opportunity I always wanted, and I’m finding it to be more fun than I ever dreamed.” Behind Babb’s deepening commitment to UA Fort Smith—as advisor, donor, and teacher—is a firsthand knowledge of the transformative power of regional universities. “I’m a product of a UA Fort Smith in my hometown,” he says. “A university like this is the difference-maker in many, many people’s lives.” Chancellor Paul B. Beran, Ph.D.—flanked by, left to right, Congressman John Boozman, Senator Mark Pryor, Senator Blanche Lincoln, Governor Mike Beebe, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Executive Vice President Ichiro Fukue, and Fort Smith Regional Chamber Chair/Baldor Electric CEO John McFarland—spoke at the Fort Smith Convention Center April 6 during the Mitsubishi Community Celebration.

Economic Development The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is an integral part of economic development in this region and served as an important ‘value-added’ factor in bringing the Mitsubishi wind turbine plant to Fort Smith. The Center for Business and Professional Development was able to offer the customized training

Mitsubishi will need, and the Office of International Relations was extremely valuable in communications, especially during site visits by Mitsubishi. There’s even a liaison on campus from the Japan Foundation, Yoko Kowata, who will help Japanese families acclimate to our community.

Chancellor Beran supported the project by showcasing the University, making facilities available during site visits, visiting Mitsubishi’s plant in Yokohama, and even hosting Mitsubishi executives in his home. That was one of the highlights of their visits to Fort Smith.

There were several partners in this project—the Chamber, the City of Fort Smith, Chaffee Crossing, the University, and the State—and without any one of them, we might not have gotten the plant.

—Cheryl Garner, Vice President for Economic Development for the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce.

A dvance s - The Newsletter of the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith Foundation | July 2010 | Vol. 2 - No. 1

First of his Kind Until 1998, the Foundation had never supported a baccalaureate. Mike Fielder was a good one to start with.

In June, Mike Fielder—an avid birder as well as an information systems whiz—accepted a position with the Fort Smith Public School District training teachers to maximize the new generation of classroom technology.

At the time, it might have seemed like a strange decision—for the Westark College Foundation to award a scholarship to a student earning a degree from a different institution. In retrospect, though, that decision appears almost prescient. The student was Mike Fielder, who in the fall of 1998 was starting an Arkansas Tech bachelor’s program offered through Westark’s University Center. The scholarship, funded by E.H. Patterson, helped Fielder afford the two years it took him to finish his bachelor’s degree after doing lower-division work at Westark. Never before had the Foundation awarded a scholarship to an upper-division student; the E.H. Patterson Scholarship was the first of its kind. What it accomplished, in effect, was to make it easy for a bright, driven young man to decide to stay right here and earn a bachelor’s degree instead of transferring elsewhere. In the end, not only Fielder, but also UA Fort Smith and the community are better for Patterson’s foresight. And now the University accomplishes the same thing year-in and year-out—making it easy for promising students to pursue four-year degrees without moving on to Fayetteville or Russellville or Conway or farther. After earning his degree in computer information science in 2000, Fielder put it immediately to work as a technology specialist

for the Fort Smith Public School District, testing and implementing classroom technology. Then, three years later, he returned to UA Fort Smith as a full-time computer analyst. It wasn’t long, though, before curiosity got the better of him. With a passion for the outdoors and wildlife, he began using his tuition discount to take a few biology courses, which soon turned into a fulltime course load. “I just really like education,” Fielder says. “I like learning new stuff. I’m weird that way.” This time, he paid his own way by continuing to work part-time for the University. An avid birder, Fielder cooperated with Professor Ragupathy Kannan on a pair of research projects funded in part by grants from the Arkansas Audubon Society and a National Science Foundation offshoot. The two studied the status of rusty blackbirds in western Arkansas and how invasive Eurasian collared doves compete with native mourning doves. This June, though, Fielder accepted a full-time position with the Fort Smith Public School District, teaching teachers, so to speak, how to make the most of the new generation of classroom technology. While he continues his studies part-time, he’s using that first degree—in computer information science—to improve the learning outcomes of the community’s public schools. And without the E.H. Patterson Scholarship, he might well not have that degree. “It made a huge difference in my life,” he says. “At the time, my father was an accountant and the company he worked for had gone out of business. I was able to continue my education because the folks in the Foundation were able to help me out. When I was 19 years old, if it wasn’t for a place like UA Fort Smith, I wouldn’t have made it.”

UA Fort Smith Foundation, Inc. Board Of Directors

A Well-deserved Honor Sherron Shuffield—faculty member emeritus, ardent supporter, energetic volunteer, and perpetual learner—was inducted in February as an honorary member of the UA Fort Smith chapter of the international English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta. Shuffield has given widely to the University in support of music, the arts, and particularly the English department, where she taught from 1978 until her retirement in 1998 and then again mber as an adjunct faculty member in 2002 and e m Τ∆ 2003. She also serves on the advisory board of the Σ ry Chancellor’s Coalition for the Visual Arts, was a member ora n She ho – d l of the Lion Committee, participates in the Mollie Wilson rron Shuffie Women’s Financial Series, and shows up at seemingly every lecture, exhibit, and performance we put on.

G: Total Goals and Priorities

$34 Million: Campaign Rolls On

$50 Million

P: Total Progress of May 10, 2010


In early May, UA Fort Smith’s Giving Opportunity Campaign passed the $34 million mark on the way to its $50 million goal, which we hope to reach by the end of 2011. In the home stretch, campaign leaders are focusing on support for faculty leaders and innovators as well as funding for cutting-edge learning technology and a new university learning and research center. Plans for the center, which will more than double the square-footage of the Boreham Library, are currently on the table. Goal: $7 Million Progress: $5.2 Million


G: $5 Million


P: $15.1 Million

G: $30 Million

G: $6 Million

ANNUAL SUPPORT OTHER* G: $0 *Gifts to areas other than designated campaign priorities. Includes gifts to unendowed scholarships, cultural arts, Family Enterprise Center, athletics, and the unrestricted fund.

G: $2 Million P: $2.8 Million P: $10.5 Million

For each issue of Advances, we ask several Foundation Board Members a different question. This time it was, “What aspect of the University do you personally consider it most important to support?”

Bill Hanna, Chair Robert E. Miller, Vice Chair John R. Taylor, Treasurer Janice H. Powell, Secretary Cindy Bagby Jimmy G. Bell Rick Beauchamp Kent Blochberger Robert Y. Cohen II Carl D. Corley Hank Farrell Don Flanders JoAnn Gedosh Peggy Hadley H. Lawson Hembree Annette Landrum, M.D. Marianne Lane-Thompson John McFarland Roger S. Meek, Jr. Neal R. Pendergraft Mark Rumsey Sam M. Sicard Douglas O. Smith, Jr. Steven Spradlin Susan M. Taylor James D. Walcott, Jr. William S. Walker Bennie B. Westphal Randy W. Wewers Chris Whitt Stanhope Wilkinson Jane Warner Williams Jim Williamson John T. Womack Robert A. Young III

KENT BLOCHBERGER I’m a huge believer in expanding access to the arts, in having first-rate arts programs at the University, but also bringing in exhibits and performances so our students and faculty and the community can be exposed to them. If I could bring world-class arts here all the time, that’s what I’d like to do. And someday maybe that’s what will happen. Exposure to the arts can change how you perceive the world and how you perceive the people around you.

CARL D. CORLEY There’s a tremendous shortage in this area of qualified diesel mechanics, and I’ve given money to support expanding the automotive technology programs to cover diesel engines. Trucking companies like Arkansas Best and USA Truck, the gas drilling industry in the Arkoma Basin, and the construction industry—companies like Riggs and Forsgren—all use large diesel engines. A program at UA Fort Smith would be a huge benefit for industry in the area and a great opportunity for people in this region to have access to the training.

JOHN McFARLAND My personal interest as a businessman is in the College of Business. As CEO of Baldor Electric, we have an interest in the engineering programs as well as the two-year programs that have helped train many employees who have come to work here at Baldor. At a personal level, my support has been for scholarships. Baldor has supported a few scholarships, but primarily supported the University with equipment, making sure that the Baldor Technology Center, in particular, is equipped with modern, up-to-date equipment.

A dvance s - The Newsletter of the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith Foundation | July 2010 | Vol. 2 - No. 1

January 1, 2010 through May 15, 2010

In Memory of Edward E. Bedwell Eloise Bedwell

Bob Sharum Glidewell Distributing Company

Albert Cox Mr. and Mrs. Earl D. Martin

Robert Horn Dr. and Mrs. Paul B. Beran Randall P. Breaux and Dr. Arleene Breaux Mr. and Mrs. Dickie Gilstrap Drs. Marta and Greg Loyd MAHG Architecture Donnie Pendergraft Dr. and Mrs. Paul Rainwater Helen Seibold Drs. Rebecca and Todd Timmons UA Fort Smith Physical Plant Dr. L VanOsdol

Ron Cross Glidewell Distributing Company

Bob Hough Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Caton

Lucille Speakman Mr. and Mrs. Randy Wewers

Walter Davidson, Jr. Phyllis Davidson

Odell Howard Glidewell Distributing Company

James Tapp Mr. and Mrs. Carl Davis

Randy DeLaet Mr. and Mrs. Dickie Gilstrap

Harper Jackson Mr. and Mrs. Michael K. Gurlen Mr. and Mrs. Robert Powell Mr. and Mrs. Craig Smith

Claris and Harold Wallace Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Hill

Roland S. Boreham, Jr. Fort Smith Symphony Wyman Charles Card Mr. and Mrs. Dickie Gilstrap Lois F. Conrad Drs. Rebecca and Todd Timmons

Laura Beth Echols Sue Hughes Verna Lee Brown Efurd Glidewell Distributing Company Daniel Leo Geels Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Needham Jerry W. Gleason Glidewell Distributing Company

Wiley Kilgore Glidewell Distributing Company Pam Nolen Leonard Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Needham Nell Lewis Mr. and Mrs. Dickie Gilstrap

Reverend Paul James Green Mr. and Mrs. Dickie Gilstrap

Daniel Martinez River Valley Detachment #1248 Randall Swaim

Carolyn Greenfield Mr. and Mrs. Carl Davis

Auda Faye McConnell Dr. and Mrs. Paul B. Beran

Edward Gross Glidewell Distributing Company

Kenneth McMasterson Dr. Carolyn McKelvey Moore

Doris Ann Guillory Glidewell Distributing Company

Christie Mr. and Mr. and Mr. and

Tom Harmon Karen Harmon Joe Harner Mr. and Mrs. Dickie Gilstrap MAHG Architecture Drs. Rebecca and Todd Timmons

John Maddox Smith John M. Smith, Jr. Mary B. Smith Mr. and Mrs. Robert Powell Matthew M. Smith John M. Wilson Susan Smith Glidewell Distributing Company

Larry Weigand Dr. and Mrs. Gabriel Matney Drs. Rebecca and Todd Timmons Robbie Westphal Mr. and Mrs. Elliott Clegg Bennie Westphal Betsy Westphal Lucille Wilson Wilde Mr. and Mrs. Joe Hoyle B. Jack and Jane Wilson Mr. and Mrs. David Wilson Judge and Mrs. J. Sam Wood, Sr. John S. Wood, Jr.

Gilstrap Morgan Mrs. Dickie Gilstrap Mrs. Roger Parker Mrs. Mike Phillips

Olan Nincehelser Mr. and Mrs. Finley Turner Stephen Nosoff Reba Nosoff

Frances Headley Glidewell Distributing Company

Sgt. Vincent Lee Carson Owens Glidewell Distributing Company

Wayne Hicks Mr. and Mrs. Dickie Gilstrap

Holly Paulus Drs. Rebecca and Todd Timmons A.C. Perceful, Jr. Glidewell Distributing Company Gracie Phumphrey Betty Burt R. Wood Hackenbracht, father of Dr. Janet Renwick Drs. Rebecca and Todd Timmons

In Honor of Dr. Keith Fudge Goddard United Methodist Women

Linda Myers Drs. Rebecca and Todd Timmons

Bev Gilstrap Reverend and Mrs. Phillip D. Tally

Donnie Pendergraft Dr. and Mrs. Paul B. Beran Mr. and Mrs. Dickie Gilstrap

Lindsey Loughmiller Dr. and Mrs. Paul B. Beran Marta M. Loyd, Ed.D. Dr. and Mrs. Paul B. Beran Madeline Martinez (Spanish Immersion) Dr. Sandra M. Johnson

Jorgette Smith John M. Smith, Jr. Mary Youmans Udouj Richard J. Udouj Dr. Ray Wallace Dr. and Mrs. Greg T. Jones

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

Advances, Summer 2010