The UALR Alumni Association will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its esteemed “Taste of” series by bringing it back home March 14. This year’s event, Taste of Little Rock, will honor Janet Jones for her contributions to the university as well as the capital city.
Over the years, the culinary festivities have included empanadas from Argentina, pomegranate guacamole from Latin America and delicious Bavarian bests from Germany. This spring’s Taste of Little Rock will tempt the tastebuds with samples from the finest restaurants and dessert spots in the Little Rock area, with wine provided by Glazer’s. Entertainment, which will be announced later, will be from the Little Rock music scene.
The various “Taste of” events have raised more than $200,000 in the past decade for student scholarships.
“The core mission of the Alumni Association is to support students through scholarships. Alumni Association members have been very generous in supporting efforts to grow our Forever Fund,” said Rebecca Ward, president of the UALR Alumni Association board of directors.
Since 2010, every student receiving an Alumni Association scholarship has graduated on time. To enrich the financial awards given, the association provides a financial planning session led by alumna Cindy Conger, a nationally recognized financial planner. This spring, the Alumni Association will begin a new initiative, matching scholarship recipients with mentors from the Alumni Board of Directors.
Jones, this year’s honoree, is being recognized for her work to elevate the UALR Center for Integrative Nanotechnology Sciences. Led by UALR graduate Dr. Alex Biris, the center is transforming scientific discoveries into new products and jobs for central Arkansas.
“Janet is a tireless supporter of the UALR Center for Integrative Nanotechnology Sciences,” Biris said. “Each year, she has given her support to one of our programs focusing on high school students with a passion for science, allowing them to study alongside some of the best scientists in the region.
“Who knows what discoveries are now possible because of the support that Janet has given us?”
Jones, who owns the residential real estate firm The Janet Jones Company, is a respected community leader, having served as the first female chairman of the board of the Greater Little Rock Chamber of Commerce and as the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of the Little Rock Branch.
In addition to her work on the UALR Board of Visitors, Jones has served on various community boards throughout the years, including CARTI, YMCA, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Arkansas, Fifty for the Future, and Youth Home. She was named Business Executive of the Year by Arkansas Business, Sustainer of the Year by the Junior League of Little Rock, ranked in the Top 100 Women in Arkansas, and Rotary Club of Little Rock Business & Professional Leader of the Year Award.
Taste of Little Rock will be from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at the UALR Alumni & Friends Center.
For more information on how to support the UALR Alumni Association with a tax-deductible gift, through an event sponsorship, or to purchase a ticket to Taste of Little Rock, please visit ualr.edu/alumni, or call Christian O’Neal at 501-569-3142.