UAMS UPDATE / DEC., 2000 | Behind the scenes, many dedicated volunteers helped build the Donald W. Reynolds Center on Aging at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, which opened earlier this year.
Although the center was named after its principal contributor, Donald W. Reynolds, the late owner of the Donrey Publishing Group, there were other donors whose contributions were recognized through named gifts inside the center.
In addition to the generous $28.8 million gift from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, other families and foundations contributed more than $22 million for program and facility endowments, the rehabilitation area of the Center on Aging, and satellite centers around the state.
Walter and Ben Hussman, Marilyn Augur, and the Hussman Foundation made a major contribution to the center. Thanks to their gift, the rehabilitation conference room in the Center on Aging was established in memory of Walter E. Hussman Sr. The Hussmans’ and Ms. Augur’s contribution honors the longstanding friendship between Reynolds and his father, Walter E. Hussman Sr., a friendship that goes back to their college days as roommates at the University of Missouri. After college, Reynolds and Hussman became co-publishers of Yank Magazine in Europe during World War II.
The Ottenheimer Therapy and Fitness Center was named for its contributing organization, the Ottenheimer Brothers Foundation. This center was established to make rehabilitative therapy, special programs and fitness activities available to senior citizens.
Inside the Ottenheimer Center, the Charles T. Meyer Aqua Therapy Pool was made possible by a gift from Chuck and Carole Meyer in honor of Chuck Meyer’s father, 81-year old Charles T. Meyer. Meyer had been actively engaged in the Little Rock business community for decades as chairman of Meyer’s Bakeries, Inc. and has served as a national leader in the baking industry. The Meyers hope that many geriatric patients suffering from arthritis and persons recovering from bone and joint surgery will be helped in this special environment. “We wanted to make a difference at UAMS, and this unique installation at the new Reynolds Center captured our imagination,” said Chuck Meyer. “It will help many older persons regain mobility and offer relief to arthritis sufferers.”
The auditorium was named for Jo Ellen Ford of Little Rock, chair of the Donald W. Reynolds Center on Aging Community Advisory Board and a past member of the Arkansas Cancer Research Center and UAMS foundation boards. The center’s auditorium was named after Ford in appreciation of her leadership and commitment as a volunteer. “The leadership of Mrs. Jo Ellen Ford in establishing the Center on Aging has been incredible. She recruited our volunteer board, helped write and present our request to the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and she led our efforts in generating the 20 percent endowment match,” said Harry P. Ward, M.D., chancellor emeritus of UAMS. “We could not have a Center on Aging without her enthusiasm and commitment.”
Ford said that her commitment to UAMS stems from the great service the institution has extended to her and her family. “For many years now, my parents and my family have been cared for and loved by the Center on Aging staff at UAMS,” said Ford, whose mother has Alzheimer’s disease. Ford said that her next move is to extend the care those in the Little Rock area receive at the Center on Aging to the rural communities in the state.
Judy Snowden, a member of the center’s community advisory board, is another volunteer whose commitment to UAMS arises from the care extended to her family. When her daughter suffered injuries from a traumatic car accident a few years ago, Snowden was impressed by the high level of expertise shown in caring for her daughter. “I witnessed the brilliance of UAMS physicians, and I’ve been volunteering with the hospital for four years now.” Snowden, chair of the art acquisition committee, worked with Little Rock art consultant Greg Thompson to choose the art that is now on display throughout the center.
“Our shared vision for the project was to create an atmosphere of tranquility, relaxation, and therapy for patients, physicians, and staff of the Reynolds Center,” Snowden said. She initiated contact with a member from the center’s advisory board, Pat Cooper, who rendered a generous donation on behalf of Cooper Communities. With the donation, Cooper Communities established the permanent art collection now displayed throughout the center.
The reception area where much of the artwork is displayed was made possible by a contribution from the Philip R. Jonsson Foundation. A gift of $150,000 established the rehabilitation reception area in the Senior Health Center. Jonsson, a long-time supporter of UAMS, has served as president of ACRC and currently serves on the Center on Aging Board and executive committee. He is also a founding member of the Jones Eye Institute Advisory Board. “His campus-wide commitment has made a big impact through his volunteer service to the Center on Aging and through the major contribution of his family foundation for the rehabilitation area of the fitness and therapy center.”
The donors whose names appear on plaques throughout the new Center on Aging helped to make the center what it is today. However, there are donors whose name may not appear on a designated facility within the center yet make an impact on the success of its programs.
Additional donors who have made a great impact to sustain the programs of the Center on Aging through endowed gifts include:
A donor recognition display in the center will recognize all patrons and volunteers who helped build the center.
Links in this Article
Donald W. Reynolds Center on Aging: www.geriatrics.uams.edu/main.asp?flash=no
Donald W. Reynolds Foundation: www.dwreynolds.org/main/about/about_home.html
Cooper Communities: www.cooper-communities.com
Beverly Enterprises, Inc.: www.beverlynet.com