Cromwell Architects Engineers Establishes Two Endowed Scholarships

Dan Fowler, left, is president of Cromwell Architects Engineers, and Greg Cockmon is chief executive officer of the firm.
Courtesy of Cromwell Architects Engineers

Dan Fowler, left, is president of Cromwell Architects Engineers, and Greg Cockmon is chief executive officer of the firm.

Cromwell Architects Engineers, an Arkansas-based firm, has contributed $100,000 to create two endowed scholarships that will benefit Arkansas students studying in the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design and in the College of Engineering at the University of Arkansas.

These two endowed scholarships will be called the Cromwell Architects Engineers Endowed Scholarship for Excellence in Architecture and the Cromwell Architects Engineers Endowed Scholarship for Excellence in Engineering. 

In addition to the scholarship funds to help with education costs, this gift provides the opportunity for the selected students to work a minimum of one summer in a paid internship at either the firm’s Springdale or Little Rock location.

“Academic success, affordability and career readiness are cornerstones of our land-grant mission of service to our students and our state,” said Chancellor Charles Robinson. “Cromwell Architects Engineers’ support will help advance that mission for years to come. We are grateful for their generosity and thrilled about the impact these scholarships and internships will make in the lives of our students and throughout the state.”

“The opportunity that Cromwell Architects Engineers is providing our students is wonderful,” said Scott Varady, vice chancellor for advancement. “Reducing financial barriers and offering a paid internship in a high-demand, interdisciplinary space allows students the chance to bring real-world experiences to their academic studies. We know that immersion in an internship program and other high-impact practices lead to greater outcomes for student success. We could not be more appreciative of this partnership with Cromwell and are grateful for their ongoing commitment to preparing future U of A graduates for the workforce.”

Dan Fowler, president of Cromwell, said that since its founding in 1885, the company has been a significant contributor to the development of the state. That’s something they intend to continue — and one way is this targeted effort to support the development of a talented workforce in the state and to retain U of A graduates as part of that workforce. That’s something Cromwell values, as 47% of their employees are UA System graduates. 

“We want to make sure that we’re giving the graduates the visibility of the building industry and the opportunities to do some amazing work here in Arkansas — and that they stay here for their careers,” Fowler said. 

For engineering students in particular, this scholarship is aimed at bringing attention to the architectural engineering and construction industry in the state and showing the career opportunities possible with a degree from the College of Engineering. 

“Cromwell’s relationship with the Fay Jones School has been immensely beneficial to our students for many years and in many ways — and we are so grateful to them,” said Dean Peter MacKeith. “Now, with this gift, Cromwell’s impact is multiplied across architecture and engineering, not only enabling deserving students to succeed in their studies, but emphasizing the collaborative nature of the disciplines and professions.”

College of Engineering Dean Kim Needy said the gift serves to strengthen the bond between two vital disciplines.

“We are grateful for this generous donation from Cromwell that highlights the profound interconnection between architecture and engineering. Their commitment to funding student scholarships and providing internship opportunities for our engineering students is a testament to their dedication to education and the future of these professions,” she said.

Fowler, who graduated from the U of A in 1997 with a Bachelor of Architecture, started working at Cromwell as an intern at age 19. The Little Rock native continued to return as an intern throughout his architectural education, and then joined the firm full time after graduation. As a student, Fowler also received the Frank Naylor Memorial Scholarship and the John G. Williams Traveling Fellowship.

Fowler said his internship experience at Cromwell gave him a deeper and more realistic view of professional practice while he was still in school, and the knowledge he gained enhanced his academic studies.

“It had a massive impact on my education and on my career trajectory as well,” Fowler said, “but I think probably most importantly on my education because it allowed me to take practical applications of what I was learning and bring it back to my classes and start to really investigate things from a practical perspective as well as theoretical perspective.”

An internship at Cromwell also allows a student to get to know the company and the culture, while better understanding the scope of the industry in Arkansas.

“So, it’s great exposure early in their career, where they’re very open to learning about industries and where they can apply their knowledge and have a career,” Fowler said.

Greg Cockmon, chief executive officer, has spent his entire professional career at the company since graduating in 1989 with a Bachelor of Architecture. He has also served on the Fay Jones School’s Campaign Arkansas Committee. 

Cockmon said that, while the firm has long had close ties with the Fay Jones School — among those, sponsoring lectures in the school’s annual lecture series — that hasn’t been the case with the College of Engineering. 

“We’re excited to do that with the engineering side as well,” Cockmon said. “Engineers have a lot of different paths they can take. What we do is not necessarily a major focus. So, if we can have an impact at least in getting the students to understand what we do for vertical building design and horizontal building design, I think that’s exciting.”

By investing in these college scholarships and internships — and planting the seeds for change — the firm is committed to helping to grow the talent within the state and to funneling those graduates into jobs in the state.

“Like a lot of places, there are massive labor shortages in our industry,” Fowler said. “We’re not able to hire people fast enough frankly. We want to make sure there’s access, there’s visibility, there’s people understanding what it is that we do. Supporting the students, in both architecture and engineering, I think is the path to do that long term.” 

The firm has a range of areas within which interns can work — such as architecture, civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering specialties, as well as interior designers, construction administrators, and energy and facility services.

“We can give an individual all of that experience, all in one location, when they come to see us,” Cockmon said. 

These two endowed scholarships are intended for students studying engineering, architecture or interior architecture and design. The purpose of these scholarships will be to support full-time students from Arkansas who demonstrate financial need, ambition in their work ethic, character and academic success, a commitment to serve their community, and potential for success in the profession. 

First consideration for the scholarships will be given to students from Faulkner, Grant, Lonoke, Perry, Pulaski and Saline counties, or within a 150-mile radius of those locations.

THE CROMWELL LEGACY

With their headquarters in Little Rock, an office in downtown Springdale and their Germany office, Cromwell Architects Engineers serves clients and communities across the state, country and world.

The architect Benjamin J. Bartlett founded the firm in 1885, designing the first building for the Arkansas School for the Blind. He was later joined by Charles L. Thompson, who became a draftsman for the firm. After Bartlett’s departure, Thompson partnered with Fred J.H. Rickon, a civil engineer, creating an architecture, engineering and design partnership that laid the foundation for the firm’s multidisciplinary approach that continues today. The firm’s namesake, Edwin Cromwell, joined the firm in 1941.

Cromwell Architects Engineers played a significant role in establishing courthouse architecture standards in Arkansas, with designs for county courthouses like the Washington County Courthouse, built in 1905. The firm’s influence also designed Little Rock’s City Hall, and Thompson supervised the completion of the Arkansas State Capitol.

Ed Cromwell spearheaded movements to preserve the unique quality of Eureka Springs, the Capital Hotel, the Arkansas Territorial Capital (now Historic Arkansas Museum), and numerous historic houses in the oldest neighborhoods of Little Rock

The firm has teamed with Arkansas firms on several major projects including Heifer International Headquarters, Chamber Center, Forest City Federal Prison, the Clinton Presidential Library, and Main Library.

Today, the firm commits itself to enhancing the lives of the people in the communities it serves — here in Arkansas and around the world. Significant impact in the areas of healthcare, economic development, industry and manufacturing, education and community, state government, and supporting military families around the world are how the firm measures its success.

Key clients include the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Hostess, Arkansas Department of Transportation, Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Children’s, University of Arkansas, Little Rock School District, Lockheed Martin, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Philander Smith University, NorthWest Arkansas Community College, Fiocchi, Sig Sauer, Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and a variety of federal government clients in the United States, Europe and Asia. This international export of services ultimately supports the growth, workforce and economy of Arkansas.

The firm’s professional connection to the U of A campus goes back to 1905, with the original design of Carnall Hall. Since 1990, the firm has worked on architecture, engineering, or commissioning projects for 30 campus buildings that include Leflar Law Center, Faulkner Performing Arts Center, Kimpel Hall, Bud Walton Arena, Donald W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development, John White Engineering Hall, Randal Tyson Track Center, Pomfret Dining Hall, Adohi Hall, and the Nanoscale Material Science and Engineering Building Lab. The firm also designed the first LEED-certified building in the state, the U of A Innovation Center. 

Cromwell Architects Engineers also has contributed to the U of A to support various areas. These include Arkansas Academy of Civil Engineers, Dean Richard B. Atkinson Memorial Courtyard Fund (School of Law) and VisionWorks Program (University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture). 

Contributions made specifically to the Fay Jones School include the Dean’s Circle, the Professional Advisory Board Scholarship Fund, the Cromwell Architects Engineers Lecture in the Role of Engineering in Architecture and Design, the Paul and Valerie Klipsch Amphitheater at Garvan Woodland Gardens, the Mort Karp and Charles Thompson Memorial Lectures, and the Verna Garvan Medal Fund.  

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the few U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research and Economic Development News

Contacts

Jennifer P. Cook, director of communications
College of Engineering
479-575-5697, jpc022@uark.edu

Michelle Parks, director of communications
Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design
479-575-4704, mparks17@uark.edu

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