MAY 31, 2006 | In the early 1990s, then-governor Jim Guy Tucker appointed J. Thomas “Tommy” May and William E. “Bill” Clark to the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees. Little did he know that these men would continue to shape the future of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) long after their terms had ended.
The two were honored in a May 24 ceremony for a gift of more than $1 million that Clark and his wife, Margaret, gave to UAMS in honor of May. The gift was used to establish the J. Thomas May Chair in Oncology, which was presented to inaugural recipient Bart Barlogie, M.D., Ph.D., at the same ceremony. Barlogie is director of the UAMS Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy and professor of medicine and pathology in the UAMS College of Medicine.
“UAMS would not be what it is today without Tommy May and Bill Clark,” said Alan Sugg, Ph.D., president of the University of Arkansas System. “They have both been extremely generous with their resources and time in helping to make this a better world.”
A resident of Pine Bluff, May is the chairman and chief executive officer of Simmons First National Corporation and Simmons First National Bank. He has an extensive background in civic and community service, including serving on the UAMS Department of Psychiatry capital campaign steering committee.
May also has received numerous awards, including the KARK Community Service Award, the Arkansas Pioneer Award and the Arkansas March of Dimes Citizen of the Year. He holds an honorary doctorate of law from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
“This sacrificial gift from the Clarks is an investment in the future,” May said. “I am honored to have my name permanently associated with a world-class organization like UAMS.”
Bill Clark is chairman and chief executive officer of CDI Contractors LLC in Little Rock. He serves on the boards of several corporations and organizations including the UAMS Foundation and the UAMS Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging.
Margaret Clark is a member of the board of the UAMS Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the River City Men’s Chorus and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.
Barlogie joined UAMS in 1989 and has developed one of the most highly regarded myeloma programs in the world. MIRT has seen more than 6,000 new patients and has changed the course of the disease through novel diagnostic procedures and therapeutic interventions.
“Our patients have found love, caring and unconditional commitment,” Barlogie said. “We must not be afraid as we move forward in finding a cure. I will do my utmost to honor this gift.”
Barlogie was one of three physicians in the country who in March were honored in New York with the 2006 National Physician of the Year by Castle Connolly, Inc., the organization responsible for the annual America’s Top Doctors publication.