Irma Boyer Shows That Giving Back Looks Good at Any Age

Irma Boyer will turn 108 years old on Nov. 23.

Irma Boyer will turn 108 years old on Nov. 23.

Irma Boyer will celebrate her 108th birthday on Nov. 23 and may be the oldest living donor to support Campaign Arkansas, the $1.25 billion capital campaign to advance academic opportunity at the University of Arkansas.

Education has always been important to Boyer, who was a teacher in a few small Arkansas towns in the 1930s. In the 50s, she - along with one other teacher - founded and taught in a private kindergarten in Pine Bluff.

Boyer earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from the U of A in 1959 and a Master of Education in 1960. She says one of her favorite memories of the university was coming from a small town and "meeting so many different people."

After she graduated from the university, she was certified to teach and worked for the Fayetteville Public Schools. Boyer spent several years teaching first grade at Washington Elementary while continuing her studies and became a reading teacher for other schools in the area and an educational specialist for the Northwest Arkansas region. She retired from the Fayetteville Public Schools in 1976.

Boyer is counted as a Thoroughred at the university for her 27 consecutive years of giving and is a member of the Chancellor's Society. She enjoys supporting the Paul and Irma Boyer Scholarship in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences, where her husband, the late William P. Boyer, was associated.

"I give to the University of Arkansas, because I want to help students who otherwise might not be able to attend to go to school," Boyer said.   

In addition to her annual giving, Boyer maintains a life membership with the Arkansas Alumni Association. Her daughter, Jane Shipley, is a fellow graduate of the University of Arkansas and was inspired by her mother's teaching career. She is also retired from the Fayetteville Public Schools.


Jennifer Elaine Holland, director of development communications
University Relations


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