University of Arkansas

Women's Giving Circle

Challenge

To encourage, empower and promote women as philanthropists, giving them financial control and direction over project funding.

Women’s Giving Circle members are alumnae and friends who recognize that women as donors have the capability of making a tremendous impact on the University of Arkansas, its students, faculty and staff. This impact grows exponentially when the contributions from women are united in support of the University through a collective voice.

Actions

  • Support and promote scholarship, research, and service
  • Enrich the quality of life of women and children
  • Encourage outreach and engagement in Arkansas
  • Jointly considers and votes on proposals, giving each member an equal say in how their funds are awarded.

Outcomes

  • Membership at approximately 100
  • Awarded $90,000 in 2016 to projects helping women including:
    1. “Micro” – Probing the Chemistry of Depression, Drug Addiction and Other Diseases of the Brain, a research initiative to understand diseases that include depression, drug addiction, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
    2. Explore Engineering Program: Northeast Arkansas, expanded successful program to reach 50 rising sixth through ninth graders in Eastern Arkansas and program increase exposure to STEM fields and concepts  
    3. Dream B.I.G. Brave Girl Initiative: Phase Two, provides mentoring and educational resources to sixth and seventh graders  
    4. Cooking for the Future, which will expand an existing program that provides cooking and nutrition education for students
    5. Explore Skilled Trades Camp, addressed the need to educate high school age females who are non-degree seeking about career options in vocational and skilled trade professions, including truck driving, auto repair, electrical and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)
    6. Transportation to Opportunity: Increasing Access for Women and Children in Rural Arkansas, which developed performance metrics to assess whether transportation access may be limiting the opportunities for women and children in rural Arkansas.  
    7. Pregnant and Parenting College Students Lunchtime Learning Series, a series of five on-campus meal sessions to educate pregnant and parenting college students about the resources and strategies available to help them succeed.  

Any educational institution that does not strive to reflect the complexity and diversity of our state, nation, and the world, is failing its students and failing its faculty. I joined this pledge because I believe we must all do a better job of creating welcoming and inclusive environments and expand our definition and views of diversity because it means different things in different areas.

Chancellor Joseph E. Steinmetz

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