Retired attorney supports music program at UA Little Rock

February 12-18, 2024

By Angelita Faller


A two-time graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is honoring her lifelong love of music and education with a planned gift to benefit music students.


 Jeanette Hamilton, a retired lawyer from Little Rock, has left a gift in her estate to create the Jeanette L. Hamilton Endowed Music Scholarship to benefit music students at UA Little Rock. The scholarship can be used to provide assistance for education-related expenses, including tuition, books, fees, and room and board.


“It seemed like the most natural thing in the world to make this donation,” Hamilton said. “Music education has been one of the biggest gifts in my life. If there is a way I can help young people with their musical journey, it was a no brainer.”


In addition to the scholarship fund, Hamilton has also made a second planned gift to donate her 2017 Model A Steinway Piano to the university’s music program to benefit future generations of music students.


Hamilton started playing the piano at the age of eight. Her best friend had started taking piano lessons, and Hamilton lamented to her parents that they were one of the few houses in the neighborhood without a piano. She promised to work hard and practice every day if they would get a piano.


“My parents broke down and bought me an older piano,” Hamilton said. “True to my world, I got a really fine teacher, practiced every day, and soon I was playing Chopin’s waltzes.”


Hamilton graduated from UA Little Rock with a bachelor’s degree in piano performance in 1979, followed by earning her law degree from the William H. Bowen School of Law in 1986. She spent her successful law career working for the North Little Rock City Attorney’s office and the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at the Arkansas Attorney General’s office.


 Once she retired from her law career in 2016, Hamilton has been able to return to her first love of piano. She takes piano lessons and piano ensemble through UA Little Rock Extended Education and volunteers to play the piano at CARTI.


 “Getting back to UA Little Rock after retiring is one of the best decisions I ever could have made and one of the best decisions of my life,” Hamilton said.


 The donations are a part of the Centennial Campaign, UA Little Rock’s largest fundraising effort to date. The university is working to raise $250 million by its 100-year anniversary in 2027.


For more information on the Centennial Campaign, visit to find out how your contribution can make an impact through scholarships, student support, program excellence, and improving the living and learning environment at UA Little Rock.