Chancellor's Medal Recipients Named for 2017 Towers of Old Main Event

Sandra and Bob Connor and Margaret Whillock
Left photo submitted; right by Matt Reynolds, University Relations

Sandra and Bob Connor and Margaret Whillock

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Alumna Sandra Connor and her husband, Robert, and alumna Margaret Whillock will be recognized as Chancellor’s Medal recipients at the University of Arkansas Towers of Old Main event April 21. The recipients will be honored at the event along with other benefactors whose cumulative giving or commitment to the university has reached or exceeded $100,000.

Sandra M. Connor and Robert C. Connor of Dallas are receiving the Chancellor’s Medal for their tremendous support of faculty and students at the university and their leadership as volunteers.

Sandra Connor holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and social welfare from the University of Arkansas and was involved with Chi Omega sorority and the Student Senate. Robert Connor holds a degree in banking and finance from the University of North Texas in Denton and was a member of the Texas National Guard. He graduated from Officer Candidate School and served in the Army Reserve until 1971, where he attained the rank of first lieutenant. Robert Connor also attended the Harvard Business School Program for Management Development and the American Bankers Association-sponsored Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University.

In 2002, the Connors established the Robert C. and Sandra Connor Endowed Faculty Fellowship for assistant professors in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. Since its inception, the endowment has enabled the college to recognize 125 Connor Fellows, and many are now leaders in their departments, serving in administrative capacities or in prominent teaching and research positions with impressive publication records.

The Connors have a history of supporting students as well – through both the Sandra and Robert Connor Access Arkansas Scholarship, and the G. David and Jane Brockmann Gearhart Endowed Scholarship.

At the university, the Connors previously served on the Board of Advisors and the Central Arkansas Advisory Committee. They now play an integral role as treasurers for the Campaign Arkansas Steering Committee, which they co-chaired from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2015. They are members of the Chancellor’s Society, life members of the Arkansas Alumni Association and have been recognized as Towers of Old Main.

The Connors have three daughters and five grandchildren. One grandson is a junior at the university and another will be a freshman in the fall.

“Sandra and Bob Connor are exceptional leaders and volunteers,” said Chancellor Joe Steinmetz. “They have tirelessly supported our faculty and students and are true champions of ours. We are honored to have them involved with the university and look forward to recognizing them for their service. They continuously step up to volunteer their time and have made significant investments in our university.”

Margaret M. Whillock of Fayetteville is also being recognized as a Chancellor’s Medal recipient for her extensive contributions to the state of Arkansas and the university.

Whillock graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Education and was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority.

Whillock and her late husband, Carl, have an impressive history of involvement with the University of Arkansas. They both served on the Campaign for the Twenty-First Century Steering Committee and co-chaired the Central Arkansas Regional Committee.

They have generously supported the University Libraries, the Carl S. and Margaret M. Whillock Endowment for the School of Social Work, the Pi Beta Phi Centennial Gate, the Alumni House Campaign, the Fulbright Peace Fountain and the Old Main Clock Tower.

Margaret Whillock was a founding member of the Women’s Giving Circle and has served on the university’s Board of Advisors, the 20th Century Garvan Gardens Advisory Board and the Dean’s Development Council for the College of Education and Health Professions. She is currently a member of the Campaign Arkansas Steering Committee, Fulbright College Advisory Board, Chancellor’s Society and  Towers of Old Main, and is recognized as a ThoroughRed for her consecutive years of giving. She is also a life member of the Arkansas Alumni Association and was the commencement speaker for the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design in 1989.

Whillock has six children, four of whom graduated from the University of Arkansas, as well as 14 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

“Margaret Whillock has made a lasting impact on our university,” said Steinmetz. “Her volunteerism and philanthropic support have touched nearly every part of our campus. Margaret has an impressive background, and she understands firsthand how important private gift support can be to an organization. We are excited to recognize her for her excellent representation of the state and the university.”

About Campaign Arkansas: Campaign Arkansas is the ongoing capital campaign for the University of Arkansas to raise private gift support for the university’s academic mission and other key priorities. The campaign’s goal is to raise $1 billion to support academic and need-based scholarships, technology enhancements, new and renovated facilities, undergraduate, graduate and faculty research, study abroad opportunities and other innovative programs. The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in a wide spectrum of disciplines as it works to fulfill its public land-grant mission to serve Arkansas and beyond as a partner, resource and catalyst.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Jennifer Holland, director of development communications
University Relations

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