UA Little Rock announced this week that it will be the beneficiary of a $1 million gift from Jerry Damerow, a former managing partner for accounting firm Ernst & Young, and Sherri Damerow, a retired kindergarten teacher and artist. The gift will endow a science scholarship in the Damerows’ name, to be used to assist students of astronomy, biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics and Earth science with tuition, fees, books, and room and board, UA Little Rock said.
“There are multiple reasons why we decided to fund an endowed science scholarship at UA Little Rock,” Jerry Damerow said in a press release. “First, we believe a strong UA Little Rock is extremely important to Arkansas’ economy going forward, particularly Central Arkansas. We do not believe we can simply sit by and expect others to build and support this important university. Arkansas’ Women’s Hall of Fame member Dorothy Stuck once told me, ‘If we don’t build Arkansas, who will?’
“We believe our economy is going through a huge transformation driven by technology thereby dramatically increasing the importance of a STEM education,” Jerry Damerow stated. “Many jobs are going away, and new ones will be created by scientists and engineers and those who qualify for those jobs will require a strong grounding in science and engineering.”
Money matters are front of mind for the university, which launched a “retrenchment” process last year in response to declining enrollment and major budget shortfalls. That restructure was approved by the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees last May, and planned for cuts to faculty positions in the theater and dance department, the systems engineering department and the school of Education.