The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith (UAFS) has received $8 million from the Windgate Foundation to support scholarships and building projects.
Of the total gift, more than $4 million will be used for direct student support through need-based university scholarships. Students who are eligible to Pell Grants and receive no other free aid will be able to attend UAFS “at little to no out-of-pocket cost” through this scholarship. Pell Grants provide approximately $6,100 of the $7,335 yearly cost of attending UAFS, while the Windgate scholarship would provide the remaining amount to eligible students.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to bring a college education within reach for so many UAFS Lions,” UAFS Chancellor Dr. Terisa Riley said in a statement. “Approximately 150 students per year need this type of financial assistance, and this generous gift from the Windgate Foundation will allow us to fully cover the cost of tuition and mandatory fees for those students who are facing the greatest amount of financial need.”
The gift also includes $394,000 for academic program development and expansionsand $240,000 for an artist-in-residence program. The artist-in-residence program would be a first for the university, bringing artists and designers to UAFS to create work and engage with students and faculty. The gift also provides $120,000 for paid internships for student artists and designers.
Windate also provided $2.8 million that is earmarked for the Windgate Art and Design Facility Endowment. Windgate provided a $15.5 million grant for this facility, which was completed in 2015.
“As an educator, I am so moved by what this support will do for our students,” Katie Waugh, head of the UAFS Art Department, said. “This gift will broaden their access to professional and creative communities, and it is an absolute dream to be given the chance to build new ways to support them. Our students accomplish incredible things and often do so while managing many responsibilities. The direct positive impacts this gift will have on them is profound.”