Stewarts Donate $1 Million to College of Engineering
Julian and Nana Stewart have made a $1 million donation to the College of Engineering at the University of Arkansas. A portion of the gift will be used to establish the Julian C. and Nana B. Stewart AACE Access Arkansas Scholarships within the department of civil engineering and provide need-based support to at least 10 students annually. The remainder will be used to establish a charitable gift annuity with the university listed as the beneficiary.
"Once again the Stewarts are leading by example with this recent gift," said Chancellor G. David Gearhart. "They continue to embrace the priorities of the university and provide support in areas where it is needed most. We are incredibly grateful to them for the philanthropy and leadership they have displayed over the years and are fortunate to count them as our friends."
John English, dean of the College of Engineering, also applauded the Stewarts for their contribution.
"The Stewarts have carefully considered the needs of our engineering students and made a thoughtful decision to establish this scholarship," he said. "This shows true leadership to our entire college family and serves as an inspiration to others who are considering a similar impact."
This is not the first gift made by the Stewarts in support of student scholarships, or even Access Arkansas. In 2003, they established the Julian and Nana Bachtel Stewart Honors Fellowships, and in 2009, they created the Julian and Nana Stewart Access Arkansas Scholarship for the benefit of students university-wide.
Julian, who was heavily involved in the Campaign for the Twenty-First Century, realized several years ago that raising money for need-based scholarships appeared to be more difficult than for merit-based.
"I can appreciate the importance of financial assistance. As a student, I had to work each year to achieve my college education," he said. "Nana and I have greatly enjoyed the relationships we have built with our previous Access Arkansas recipients. At our age, these relationships have become incredibly rewarding, as we genuinely feel the appreciation shown by our student recipients."
Both Julian and Nana are graduates of the University of Arkansas. Julian earned a bachelor of science in civil engineering in 1957, and Nana holds a bachelor of science in education from the College of Education and Health Professions. Julian was a member of the university's Campaign for the Twenty-First Century Steering Committee and the chancellor's Board of Advisors. He currently serves on the University of Arkansas Foundation's board and the Campaign Arkansas Steering Committee and chairs the College of Engineering's campaign committee. He was named the Volunteer of the Year by the university in 2003, received the Andrew Lucas Alumni Service Award in 2006 and was inducted into the Engineering Hall of Fame in 2010. Because of their philanthropy, both he and Nana were honored as the Outstanding Philanthropist award recipients for National Philanthropy Day in 2010 and are recognized by Towers of Old Main, a society for the university's most generous benefactors.
Access Arkansas, a university initiative committed to raising money for need-based scholarship support – particularly for undergraduates – was launched in 2007 with a goal of $15 million. In 2009, the Pat and Willard Walker Foundation created a $1 million Challenge Fund to match one-third of every dollar committed.