Five Projects To Benefit From Centennial Opportunity Fund

MONTICELLO, AR — The addition of multimedia technology to the John F. Gibson University Center is one of five projects selected for funding from the University of Arkansas at Monticello’s Centennial Circle Endowment earnings, according to Linda Yeiser, vice chancellor for advancement and university relations.

            The Centennial Opportunity Fund Committee, which is charged with the selection of projects and the allocation of funding, reviewed nine proposals totaling $131,529 and selected five for funding. In addition to the University Center project, the committee awarded $9,000 to convert the Sandra Campbell Conference Room in the Taylor Library and Technology Center into a digitally-equipped conference room, $4,000 to be used for student expenses to present research at professional meetings and conferences, $10,000 to upgrade equipment for environmental studies and student research projects and establish a research and education center, and $3,000 to renovate the large meeting room at the UAM College of Technology-McGehee.

            The Centennial Circle is comprised of 100 donors giving $10,000 each to create a $1 million unrestricted endowment. The spendable earnings from the endowment make up the Centennial Opportunity Fund and are distributed annually for special University projects. “This is the fourth funding cycle and we’ve been able to fund 18 proposals totaling $134,566,” said Yeiser.

            Bryan Fendley, director of instructional technology and web services, said multimedia technology would have an immediate impact on meetings held in the University Center. “Imagine being able to go to a banquet while enjoying a movie theatre style video and surround sound,” said Fendley. “The UAM Green Room is one the most used spaces for large student and community gatherings on campus. The need for upgrading that space to a modern venue has been recognized for a long time. People depend on amazing audio and video to deliver powerful messages, and we are missing that. The cost of doing the job correctly was always out of reach. Thanks to the Centennial Opportunity Fund, the upgrade is now a reality. Properly equipping the Green Room will allow for movie nights for students and provide proper accommodations for presentations during public events.”

            Funding for the projects was made after students, faculty and staff submitted proposals that would benefit the University at large. “The rule of thumb,” said Yeiser, “was ‘Ten years later, can we say that the project made a substantial difference to the University and/or to many students?’ I want to commend the committee for their diligence and hard work in selecting projects that promise to do just that.”

            For more information, contact the Office of Advancement at (870) 460-1028.


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