The stories in this edition of the UCA Magazine remind us of the impact the University of Central Arkansas has on its graduates’ pursuit of excellence and service.
Growing the size and number of endowed scholarships is one of the most important aspects of our UCA NOW: Impact Arkansas and Beyond campaign because it directly impacts our students.
It is important for us to help provide our students with the life-changing financial support they need to reach their full potential.
During the 2022 Laurels & Stripes scholarship gala, we honored this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipients, Kristin Lewis and Woodrow “Woody” Cummins, celebrated the impact of private scholarships and raised even more money for scholarships. Since the 2021 event, we have established 29 new scholarships and raised more than $1.3 million in scholarship support.
Additionally, we announced a new $100,000 gift from Dr. Derek Lewis ’78 and his family. The gift will provide a pre-medical mentoring program, including $50,000 that will fund the Lewis-Webb Fellows Cohort. Lewis talked about the impact his mentor, Maurice Webb, had on him as an undergraduate student at UCA. This is one way Lewis wanted to pay it forward.
I serve on the selection committee for scholarships granted by the UCA Foundation scholarships. Last year the foundation awarded close to $1.5 million in scholarships to more than 800 students. While those numbers are wonderful and should be celebrated, I learned while serving on the committee that more than 3,000 students – the greatest number of applicants we have ever had – applied for private scholarships this year. That means there are more than 2,300 students we could not help. We have a lot of work left to do.
We appreciate all of the donors who give to support our students. Mother Teresa said, “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.” No gift is too small; every gift matters and adds up to real impact in our students’ lives.
Transforming this university and the lives of our students is about participation. It is about what we can accomplish by joining together to seize opportunities for a common cause. It is about embracing the urgency of NOW. With the support of donors like you, our students can fulfill their dream of earning their degrees.
We invite you to join our movement.
Dr. Mary Bane Lackie
Vice President for University Advancement
President of the UCA Foundation