TOMMY AND SYLVIA BOYER COMMIT $1 MILLION TO CAMPAIGN FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Currently in the planning stage, the University of Arkansas’ Campaign for the Twenty-First Century got a major boost today with a $1 million gift commitment from its presiding co-chair and his wife, Tommy and Sylvia Boyer of Amarillo, Texas, and Fayetteville, Ark.
Mr. Boyer began his tenure as presiding co-chair on July 1, 2000, and will serve in that capacity until June 30, 2002. Mrs. Boyer also serves with her husband on the Campaign Steering Committee (CSC), the top volunteer leadership group. She is vice chair of the CSC’s College/School/Unit and Regional Subcommittee.
UA Chancellor John A. White said, "The Boyers have shared their success and abilities with the University in many ways. Their leadership on the Campaign for the Twenty-First Century Steering Committee has been extremely beneficial and their dedicated spirit is invaluable. This gift to the Campaign reflects their commitment to supporting a key University goal: to increase private gift support; and serves as a testament to the leadership they’ve demonstrated on this campus already."
The Campaign for the Twenty-First Century is an intensive, multi-year effort to raise substantial private gift support to fuel the U of A’s vision of emerging as a nationally competitive, student-centered research university serving Arkansas and the world.
The $1 million Boyer gift will be used to enhance the many scholarship funds and programs they have established over the years with previous gifts.
Among their most recent initiatives is the Boyer Fellowship, established to encourage outstanding Arkansas students to pursue a college education at the University of Arkansas in the Sam M. Walton College of Business.
Mr. Boyer said, "We like the direction in which Chancellor White is taking the University, and we especially like the positive things that we have seen happen on this campus. We’ve been very interested in supporting higher education as a vehicle for shaping the leaders of tomorrow, and are hopeful that others will be inspired to do the same."
The Boyers themselves are distinguished graduates of the University. They are long-time supporters of the University, volunteering their time and resources to a wide range of high-impact programs and committees.
Mr. Boyer graduated from the UA College of Business Administration in 1964. During his time at the U of A, he became an All-American basketball player and held four NCAA scoring records. In September 1999, he was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. In April 2000, Mr. Boyer received a national award, the Beta Gamma Sigma Medallion for Entrepreneurship. The award is presented annually to outstanding individuals who combine innovative business achievement with service to humanity.
Mrs. Boyer, a native of Alton, Ill., graduated in 1963 with a B.S.E. in health sciences, biology and physical education. In 1962-63, Mrs. Boyer received the outstanding sports manager award, one of two top awards presented to a graduating senior by the Women’s Health and Physical Education Department.
Vice Chancellor for University Advancement G. David Gearhart said, "We are very grateful to Tommy and Sylvia for their gift commitment. Their leadership by example demonstrates the many ways that philanthropy can be established and carried out to complement a benefactor’s wishes. This gift will go a long way to bolster student scholarship, academic programs and other campus initiatives that will make the University of Arkansas a much stronger institution."
Mr. Boyer has served on the National Development Council and the University of Arkansas Foundation Board of Trustees and now serves on the Walton College’s Dean’s Executive Advisory Board, Arkansas Business Hall of Fame selection committee, and as a guest lecturer at the Walton College.
Mrs. Boyer taught in the Fayetteville and Amarillo public schools and was an instructor at West Texas State University in Canyon, Texas. Throughout her life she has sustained a strong interest in children and education.
In 1990, Mrs. Boyer became the first chair of the Dean’s Development Council in the College of Education. She is a charter member of the Old Main Society and the Chancellor’s Society and is a member of the Razorback Foundation and the National Development Council. She was the chair of the Janelle Y. Hembree Alumni House Committee, and from 1997-1998, president of the Arkansas Alumni Association.
Over the past 11 years, the Boyers have established seven endowed scholarships across campus in the Alumni Association, the Razorback Foundation, the School of Law, and in the colleges of business and education and health professions. In 1989, the Boyers established reciprocal scholarships for each other as 25th wedding anniversary gifts. Mrs. Boyer established the Thomas E. Boyer Scholarship in the College of Business as a gift to her husband, and he established the Sylvia Hack Boyer Scholarship in the College of Education and Health Professions as a gift to her.
In 1994, the Boyers established the Sylvia Hack Boyer Advising Center in the College of Education and Health Professions, creating a full-service center for counseling, career advising and help for freshmen and sophomores.
Lifetime members of the Arkansas Alumni Association, the Boyers funded the Alumni Hall in the new Janelle Y. Hembree Alumni House. The Alumni Association recently honored them with the Andrew J. Lucas Community Service Award.
After 26 years as a sales representative with Eastman Kodak Company, Mr. Boyer retired in December of 1989. During his tenure with Kodak, he was the only sales representative in the history of the company to exceed his sales goals for 26 consecutive years. He was named outstanding account representative in 1978 and led the company in sales in 1985.
In January of 1990, he purchased Micro Images, a small company in Lubbock, Texas, and built it into the largest Kodak imaging hardware and software reseller in the United States.
When the Boyers’ daughter, Melissa Ann Boyer, B.S.E.’90, B.S.B.A. ’92, attended at the University of Arkansas, they were encouraged to become active in philanthropy at the University.
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