The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra today announced its biggest individual gift, $1.8 million from the estate of Linda Garner Riggs to the symphony’s foundation.

From a release:


Mrs. Riggs had served as chairwoman of the ASO Foundation Board of Directors. She is a former Arkansas Insurance Commissioner, and she also worked as legislative and budget director for Gov. Frank White, and as director of the research and committee staff for the Arkansas Legislature. She was retired from Stephens Inc., where she worked for 25 years in corporate finance and was a managing director of the company’s investment banking firm.

When asked about this gift, her husband Dr. Lamar Riggs said, “Linda loved the sound of the orchestra and recognized the ability of its members and leadership. Her gift commemorates her memory and its melody.”

Earnings from the ASO endowment are restricted for use to support the annual operations of the Symphony. Thus, the gift will permit ASO to expand its educational program and continue to attract outstanding professional musicians to the Natural State.

…The Riggs gift will endow the Principal Cello Chair at the ASO and it will be permanently named for Linda Garner Riggs.

Riggs died Nov. 15 at the age of 70. She grew up in Fordyce, went to high school in Camden and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Arkansas.