UCA Foundation celebrates donors, students at scholarship reception

More than 365 people gathered to celebrate the spirit of philanthropy at the University of Central Arkansas’ annual scholarship reception hosted by the UCA Foundation.

Panel at the 2022 Scholarship ReceptionWith a theme of “Legacy of Success,” the reception celebrated scholarship donors and the impact their gifts have had on both scholarship recipients and the university as a whole. The event provided an opportunity for students to connect and network with scholarship donors. The night also highlighted the ongoing success of the UCA NOW fundraising campaign.

“This reception is a unique event for us as we gather in celebration of the many lives changed through the impact of private giving,” said Mary Lackie, UCA’s vice president of advancement and president of the UCA Foundation. “One of the joys of my work is witnessing our donors’ spirit of giving and its impact on our students.”

During the event, UCA president Houston Davis led a panel discussion that underscored the benefit that scholarships can have for students. “Donors, never doubt the difference your support is making in our students’ lives, and in our communities,” he said. “This evening’s panelists are a testament to the impact of your generosity.”

Panelists included:

  • Takari Glover – a first-generation college student majoring in marketing in UCA’s College of Business. She is a current recipient of the Holloway Hicks scholarship.
  • Suleima Gomez – a 2021 nursing graduate who is employed with Conway Regional Health System. While at UCA, she was a recipient of the Arch Ford scholarship and the Ashcraft Nursing scholarship.
  • Bradley Mullins – a 2009 political science graduate who is now practicing law in northwest Arkansas. He serves on the UCA Foundation board, is a current scholarship donor and is the youngest member of the Doyne Legacy Society, the group that recognizes donors who have included the UCA Foundation as part of their estate planning.
  • Tiffani Rana – a 2021 accounting graduate who is currently employed with Hogan Taylor Accounting in Little Rock. While pursuing her degree, she was a recipient of the Lavon Morton and Dr. Brenda Yelvington scholarship. Since graduating, she has become a scholarship donor in her own right.

Davis also thanked donors for their impact on the UCA NOW campaign.

“We have currently raised more than $87.7 million towards our $100 million goal, and have a record 16,518 unique campaign donors,” Davis said. “Because of your support, our momentum never faltered, it has only grown. Thank you so much for helping us to get to this point and for the enormous impact your gifts have towards the success of our students, our university and our communities.”

Lackie wrapped up the evening by emphasizing the benefit of scholarship donations, and pointed out that donors can leave a lasting legacy with a planned gift.

“The support given for students is about passing on the UCA experience to others so that they too can know the lifelong benefits of earning their degree,” Lackie said. “Planned giving provides an avenue for our alumni and friends to make a larger and more impactful gift than they ever thought possible.”

The event, held Thursday, Sept. 29, took place in the Farris Center on the UCA campus.

By Philip Allison