FORMER PROFESSOR LEAVES $100,000 TO ENDOW UA ART DEPARTMENT STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS
FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. - Charles Okerbloom Jr. has left $100,000 to the University of Arkansas Department of Art, where he taught painting and printmaking for 16 years. With this gift, the department has created an endowment to fund scholarships for new and returning graduate and undergraduate students.
When enough interest is generated from the endowment, the department plans to offer two $500 freshman recruitment incentive awards, three $1,000 undergraduate awards, and one $1,000 graduate award.
"This is the first endowed scholarship fund the department has had," said UA Department of Art Chair Mike Peven. "This gift is very significant for us, and being able to use the money to help students is a tremendous honor."
Chancellor John A. White said, "The University very much appreciates the thoughtfulness of faculty members when they leave generous gifts such as this one to the Department of Art to benefit future students and academic programs."
Born August 13, 1908, in Harrisburg, Pa., Okerbloom grew up in Columbus, Ohio, graduating from Ohio State in 1930. He served with the Army Air Corps during World War II and lived in Fayetteville for 46 years.
He served as an associate professor at both the Ohio University and the University of Tulsa. An accomplished cartoonist and painter, Okerbloom joined the Department of Art at the University of Arkansas in 1953, reaching the rank of full professor in 1963. He retired in 1969. His works are in collections and art museums in Dallas, Texas; Tulsa, Okla.; New Orleans, La.; and Columbus and Toledo, Ohio. His artwork is also in the permanent collection of the State University of Iowa.
Throughout his life, Okerbloom was an accomplished tennis player. He headed the Ohio State University tennis team and was ranked in the Western Sectional Division in both singles and doubles. He died April 6, 1999, at the Northwest Medical Center in Springdale.
"Charles was a valued and talented faculty member," said Interim Dean Randall Woods. "We feel honored that he chose to remember his department and our students in such a meaningful way."
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