Our University of Central Arkansas community is full of amazing people who give generously of their time, talents, and resources to contribute to student success. This has never been more evident than now, as we celebrate a season of many achievements, growth, and milestones.
Thanks to Bear supporters like you, 2017-18 was a record fundraising year. We increased our net assets to more than $50 million for the first time, and our endowment to $27,877,726. The UCA Foundation awarded more than $1 million in private scholarships. We welcomed more than 2,000 first-time undergraduate students, who also were the most academically qualified in the history of this university. This academic year also marked the first time that service-learning courses were taught in each of our academic colleges.
This issue of UCA Magazine is dedicated to philanthropy and celebrating the generous spirits of people like you — our students, staff, faculty, alumni, donors, friends, and partners. Inside, you’ll find stories of individuals and groups who give back not just to the UCA community but also to individuals all over the world.
There’s UCA Distinguished Alumnus D.R. Horton, whose Arlington, Texas-based D.R. Horton Inc. has been the largest homebuilder in America since 2002. He founded Camp Horton, an annual summer camp for children related to his employees, so that more kids could have a free summer vacation experience away from home.
Then there’s The Big Event, a community-wide day of service during which hundreds of UCA Bears extend a helping hand across the Conway community. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni complete projects requested by members of the community — from mulching and cleaning community gardens to sorting items at a local thrift shop.
In these pages, you’ll also read about Drew and Lauren Gainor, who established and endowed the Drew Marshall Gainor Scholarship for Hispanic students in certain business disciplines; Rick and Anne Massey, who gave $1 million to help create the Arch Ford Endowed Scholarship Fund; and Jennifer J. Westpfahl, who established a scholarship to support women studying finance at UCA.
That’s just the beginning. This issue is filled to the brim with stories about exceptional people going above and beyond for our Bears. We sincerely thank them — and you — for aiding the growth and development of our university and ensuring that our UCA community has what it needs to thrive.
Dr. Houston D. Davis