About the Sitter: Winfred Thompson was UCA's 7th President, serving from 1988-2001. He was born in 1945 in Gurdon, Arkansas. In 1967, he received a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Arkansas, followed by a master's degree in history in 1970 and a Ph.D. in history in 1987, both from the University of Chicago. Thompson went on the earn a Juris Doctor with honors in 1977, plus an advanced law degree (L.L.M.) in taxation in 1978. Both law degrees were completed at George Washington University.
During his presidency at UCA, Thompson embarked on a campaign to improve the building conditions. Fifteen new buildings were erected or planned, and ten other buildings were remolded or enlarged. The creation of the Community School of Music and the opening of the Baum Gallery of Fine Art took place during his tenure. To support faculty, two other programs were established: the Instructional Development Center (IDC) presents lectures and opportunities related to the teaching profession, and Sponsored Programs aids faculty in their search for grant money.
About the Artist: Gene Hatfield was born on November 23, 1925 in Conway, Arkansas. After high school, Mr. Hatfield served in the U.S Army during World War II and was discharged in 1944. He attained a BS in Education degree in Speech and English from the Arkansas State Teacher's College (now UCA) in 1948, followed by a Master's degree in art education from Colorado State College of Education (now University of Northern Colorado) . That same year, he began teaching art at the Arkansas State Teacher's College (UCA) until his retirement in 1985. During his tenure at UCA, Mr. Hatfield taught classes in drawing, painting, sculpture, crafts, design, art history and art appreciation. He traveled frequently to Europe in the summer, where he worked on his art and studied with Henri Goetz and Leo Marchutz in France, and at the Fuller Art Studio in Saint Ives, England. Mr. Hatfield works primarily in collage, painting and sculpture and is influenced by surrealism and folk art. This is evident in the sculpture work found on the grounds of his Conway home. Mr. Hatfield's yard is filled with his sculpture created with found objects, many of which were photographed and registered with the Smithsonian Institution's Save Outdoor Sculpture program. Though retired for many years, Mr. Hatfield still remains active in the arts by creating new works and helping students and other artists in the area.