The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Public Radio (home of KUAR FM 89.1 and KLRE Classical 90.5) is closing its annual fall fund drive on a high note, with an anonymous donation of $1.5 million, the largest cash gift in UA Little Rock Public Radio history.
“This gift is a wonderful testament to the impact of public radio,” said Nathan Vandiver, general manager of UA Little Rock Public Radio. “The generosity of this anonymous gift is considerable. On behalf of the staff and listeners of KLRE and KUAR, I want to say a heartfelt thanks to the donor. The stations will use this gift to strengthen and expand their services as the region’s NPR news and information provider, classical music radio station, and as a local and regional news organization.”
The anonymous gift comes on the final day of the drive and represents ten times the drive’s fundraising goal of $150,000. UA Little Rock Public Radio also raised $100,000 by 8 a.m. Oct. 8, bringing the drive’s running fundraising total to $1.6 million.
More than 80,000 people listen to KUAR and KLRE every week. Housed within the College of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education, UA Little Rock Public Radio is a public service unit of UA Little Rock. University students gain professional experience by working as interns and part-time staff members who take part in all aspects of KLRE and KUAR operations with a specific focus on news reporting and broadcast production.
“We are elated at this news,” said Dr. Sarah Beth Estes, dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education. “The staff of KLRE/KUAR work tirelessly to provide quality news, programs, and music to central Arkansas. This operational gift ensures the continuity of these efforts and underscores their essentiality.”
The UA Little Rock Public Radio Operating Endowment will provide an ongoing stream of operating funds to support the public radio stations for generations to come. The endowment is expected to provide around $60,000 per year to support the reporting, music, and cultural programming on central Arkansas’s two public radio stations.
“This generous endowment provides both stability and a steady revenue source that allows us to plan for the future of KUAR and KLRE,” said Christian O’Neal, vice chancellor for university advancement. “This anonymous donation will leave a lasting impact on public radio in our community for years to come.”
KUAR 89.1 is a National Public Radio affiliate and has been here to report on the COVID-19 pandemic, the rollout of vaccines, the huge economic challenges, the contentious election process, the great disruptions to education, the renewed focus on justice and equity, and much more. KLRE Classical 90.5 is Arkansas’s only classical FM radio station and continues to offer listeners a reliable, welcoming oasis of inspiration, peace, and joy.