Hendrix College Receives Largest Outright Gift in College History

Hendrix College has received a $15 million gift from the Windgate Foundation, the largest outright gift in Hendrix’s history.

“We are grateful for the support of the Windgate Foundation,” said Hendrix President W. Ellis Arnold III. “More than ever, it is critical that we continue moving forward, to meet today’s challenges and to continue to be a leader in higher education in the future.”

[This $15 million gift from the Windgate Foundation surpassed the previous largest non-estate gift of $11 million, making it the second largest gift overall. The $26 million gift from the estate of Mary Ann Dawkins in 2015 remains the largest gift of any nature in the College’s history.]

This year, the College surpassed its $110 million campaign goal a year ahead of schedule with $114 million in gifts and pledges. The campaign, which was scheduled to end in 2021, will be expanded to $150 million and will extend to 2023. The campaign now stands at $129 million.

“During this campaign, thanks to the support of alumni and friends of the College, we have strengthened the academic and student life experience with new programs and initiatives,” said Arnold. “We have added new facilities that celebrate the residential experience and support student recruitment, and we have continued to make Hendrix more affordable and accessible for students and families.”

This spring, as part of the campaign expansion, Hendrix will launch a multimillion-dollar Residence Hall Renewal Project, beginning with renovations of Veasey Hall. Fundraising efforts for the project will also support renovations of historic Martin Hall.

In addition, the expanded campaign will seek additional funds for the College’s endowment. $10 million of the Windgate gift will provide endowed scholarships for Hendrix students.

“These priorities – the Residence Hall Renewal Project and increasing the College’s endowment – will support student recruitment and retention,” said Arnold. “They will keep Hendrix accessible and affordable to students and families, and they will ensure that Hendrix remains one of the country’s leading liberal arts colleges for academic quality, innovation, and value.”

The expanded Hendrix campaign will be called A Time to Lead: The Campaign for Today and Tomorrow.

“The time for Hendrix to lead is now. We know that many students and families are concerned by the cost of higher education today,” said Arnold. “That is why we recently announced a tuition reset and lowered our tuition by 32% for new students.”

“We also know that our current students’ residential experience at Hendrix was disrupted by COVID-19,” he said. “That is why – in addition to our tuition reset for new students – we developed a tuition-free fifth year program for current students to provide the opportunity to have a complete residential student experience at Hendrix.”

Arnold added that these recent offerings are just two examples of how Hendrix is leading today. “We must continue to lead in quality, innovation, and value,” he said. “The Residence Hall Renewal Project will reinforce the vital role of the residential campus experience at Hendrix and growing our endowment will strengthen the College’s financial position to support students today and tomorrow.”

Lyon senior designs bicentennial coin for Independence County

A Lyon senior’s design has been selected for Independence County’s bicentennial coin.

Samantha Long holds the coin she designed

The coin commemorates the 200th anniversary of the county’s founding, which was established in 1820. Batesville was established in 1821, and it is the oldest existing city in Arkansas.

Samantha Long, a fine arts major from Cave City, created the coin’s design based on her own interpretation of what Independence County Judge Robert Griffin had requested. 

The front features a Native American based on the Cherokee tribe as a nod to Arkansas history and a steamboat as an homage to Independence County’s beginnings as a trade area. The back of the coin features a glimpse into modern-day Independence County, showing local farmers and businesses coming together while Independence County grows in the background.

“I felt that it was very important to incorporate farmers into the design because our community has so much to thank them for,” Long said.

She continued, “My brother gave me the idea to have them shaking hands, as a way to show the two coming together to help build our community.”

Professor of Art Dustyn Bork had approached Long about submitting a design. He told her it would be a great way to gain experience for her fine arts major.

“This is an excellent example of a Lyon student seeing their design come to fruition in a tangible way,” Bork said. “What an awesome opportunity for Sam and to celebrate our community.”

“It’s honestly an honor to be selected for something so important!” Long said. “I couldn’t believe it at first, and I did feel a bit anxious during the process.”

She concluded, “But by the end of it, I was very proud to have had the opportunity to leave my small mark on Independence County.”

Hendrix Students Explore Research Careers and Career Paths through EPROACH

The pandemic may have changed how we interact with each other, but it did not stop Hendrix students from engaging in meaningful professional activities this past summer. During the break, 12 undergraduate science majors participated in a special Odyssey project titled Experiences in Professional Research Organizations and Atmospheric Chemistry at Hendrix (EPROACH). 

In 2014, Professor and Chair of Chemistry Dr. Courtney D. Hatch ’00 developed the EPROACH program with the support of the Morris and Ann Henry Odyssey Professorship. Now supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, EPROACH provides Hendrix science students the opportunity to gain engaged learning credit through the Hendrix Odyssey Program while exploring their interests in pursuing research careers in the sciences, with a focus on atmospheric chemistry. 

EPROACH participants this past summer included Eric Horan ’21, Adam De Groodt ’21, Catherine Mariza ’23, Kameron Molloy ’21, Kyle Bounds ’23, Tyler Odell ’21, Grace Bryant ’22, Jennifer Wu ’23, Miles Johnson ’21, Madelyn Klinkerman ’21, Linh Phung ’23, and Julia Dick ’23. Hatch served as their faculty mentor while guiding them through a variety of professional development and networking activities, including:

  • designing personal learning goals to guide reflection of program activities
  • attending the virtual American Chemical Society Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference
  • attending virtual research seminars with leading scientists in the academic, government, industry, and non-profit sectors
  • networking with graduate students and research professionals
  • exploring STEM research careers
  • reflecting on vocational purpose and professional aspirations.

“This year has thrown a wrench in many students’ opportunities to participate in undergraduate research, so what better time to learn about new fields of research and reflect on vocational interests and aspirations?” Hatch says. While the program was initially designed as an intensive two-week experience in Colorado, the pandemic required the program to pivot to a virtual platform.

Despite the remote nature of EPROACH for the summer of 2020, it remained successful as it continued to “spark the curiosity of student interests, encourage self-reflection and understanding, provide mentorship for aspiring scientists, and support ‘engagement that links the classroom to the world’ (Hendrix College Statement of Purpose).”

“While some students find the EPROACH experience helps solidify their career aspirations, others find new scientific interests they haven’t had the opportunity to explore,” says Hatch. Linh Phung, who is pursuing a B.A. in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology (BCMB) agrees: “My experience in this program has significantly aided in the transformation of my career aspirations,” Phung said.

Julia Dick, a computer science major, also found inclusion “amongst a sub-community of Chemistry and BCMB majors.”

“It was surprisingly easy for me to find a career path into a major research lab where someone from my discipline could potentially fit,” she said. “Making these realizations was the most exciting part of each meeting.”

“Every year, but particularly during the pandemic, the level of personal growth and professional awareness that the students achieve by participating in EPROACH is amazing to watch in real-time,” Hatch says. As Madelyn Klinkerman, a senior Murphy Scholar double majoring in chemistry and Spanish, prepares for her own post-Hendrix career, she confides that she will “definitely rely on what I’ve learned from my time with EPROACH.”

Dr. Freed Named President-Elect of ArATE

Dr. Allison Freed, director of teacher education and assistant professor of education/science education at University of the Ozarks, has been selected as president-elect of the Arkansas Association of Teacher Education (ArATE).

Her term as president-elect will run from January 2021 until July 2021, at which time she will take over as president of the state-wide association. The Arkansas chapter includes members from all Arkansas colleges and universities. Some of the responsibilities of the president include, attending the National ATE conference on behalf of the Arkansas chapter and organizing and hosting the annual state conference next fall.

“I am pleased to serve as the president-elect of the Arkansas Association of Teacher Educators, one of the most active state chapters of the Association of Teacher Educators,” Freed said. “I became a member in 2015, after beginning my position at University of the Ozarks. From the start, the ArATE members were supportive, engaged, and willing to share ideas to continue to promote the education profession. I look forward to collaborating with other Arkansas teacher educators to organize and host the 2021 Arkansas conference and to represent Arkansas at the national conference in February.”

Memorial gift honors Ouachita student Charlee Morrison, invests in cancer research at Ouachita

Ouachita Baptist University has received a gift from Russell and Patti Morrison in memory of their daughter, Charlee Morrison, a former Ouachita student who passed away in 2000 during her senior year at Ouachita. The gift will be used to enhance Ouachita’s first undergraduate research laboratory dedicated to cancer cell biology.

Last month marked the 20th anniversary of Morrison’s passing. Originally from Benton, Ark., she battled cancer from the young age of 13 and passed away due to complications on Oct. 30, 2000, in Little Rock. Morrison was a sociology major, a member of Tri Chi women’s social club and respected by her Ouachita professors and peers.

“She was always happy, even when she was hurting, and had the most positive outlook possible for her life,” said Emily Goode, a fellow Ouachita senior and friend, in a tribute to Morrison in the 2000 Ouachita Circle alumni magazine.

The same tribute reads, “Students at Ouachita will not likely remember the way that Morrison died, but the way that Morrison lived.”

“I immediately remembered the story about Charlee when I was informed of the Morrisons’ gift,” said Dr. Tim Knight, dean of the Patterson School of Natural Sciences. “Though I did not know Charlee personally, we are a small campus family, and we consider all students as ‘our own.’”

The monetary gift by the Morrisons will allow the Patterson School of Natural Sciences to create a cancer cell culture research experience for Ouachita students, a first for the university. This includes augmenting Ouachita’s existing molecular biology research facility and expanding the quality and quantity of research opportunities for students.

“Several hundred students will benefit, as well as several faculty members,” Knight said. “We have a small cohort of faculty already working in cancer- or cell biology-related research.”

“We have been working on this concept for a while,” said Nathan Reyna, associate professor of biology. “However, the gift has given us the leverage to enhance a facility that will ensure a large portion of our students will be able to participate in unique, class-based research experience.”

“Charlee would have been delighted to see this used toward an educational program,” said her father, Russell Morrison of Benton. “We’re fully aware of the importance of medical equipment and training which saves lives. Excellent medical training and equipment equals better outcomes for those that are struggling with life threatening diseases such as adult leukemia that threatened and finally took Charlee’s life.

“Charlee loved Ouachita Baptist and was so happy to be a student there,” he added. “I know she would be honored to share this gift.”

In 2018, Reyna led a team to create Ouachita’s Cell Biology Education Consortium (CBEC), a National Science Foundation-funded consortium that focuses on the development and modification of cell culture techniques that can be incorporated in the undergraduate classroom. Since that time, Reyna said the “development of novel research methods and the student demand for participation in these projects outpaced our resources and facilities.”

With the help of the Charlee Morrison memorial gift, the adaptation of Ouachita’s current research facility will allow for more Ouachita students to be involved in the research, Reyna explained, as well as “strengthen critical thinking skills in the classroom, facilitating the transition from student to scientist.”

“Ouachita is committed to undergraduate education through an active, inquiry-based, hands-on approach to learning in the classroom,” said Reyna. “The opportunity for students to conduct mammalian cell culture and cancer biology research using this new facility with current molecular techniques in class is consistent with our goal to integrate research into the classroom.”

For more information or to give, visit obu.edu/give and list “In memory of Charlee Morrison” in the special instructions field or contact Susan Warren, senior director of donor engagement, at warrens@obu.edu or 501-920-1042.

Lyon students named ‘outstanding delegates’ at Model UN

Lyon students were recognized as “Outstanding Delegates” for the first time at the Arkansas Collegiate Model United Nations (ACMUN) on Nov. 6.

Kristen Towery, Samantha Baxley, Timmy Tignor, Charles Fancyboy, Taylor Fitterling and Jihye Jung participated in this year’s conference. Baxley and Tignor were named Outstanding Delegates, and Towery, Fitterling and Fancyboy were named Honorary Outstanding Delegates.

“Lyon did really well this year,” said senior Timmy Tignor. “We had three new students who had no Model UN experience, and we did awesome!”

He continued, “The standout moment was that Lyon had never won an Outstanding Delegate before. I was so happy to see that we were able to do this well.”

Jihye Jung said the students have been meeting every Thursday with Assistant  Professor of Political Science Dr. Jaeyun Sung to practice opening statements, speech scripts and how to write resolutions for Model UN. They even virtually practiced in a preliminary session with the Model UN team at Harding University before the conference.

The ACMUN conference is usually held at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) in Conway, but the event was held virtually over Zoom this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I think everyone adjusted pretty quickly,” Jung said. “Also, since the Zoom meeting makes us change our username and background, it was even easier to notice delegates and their representative countries.”

Jung said this year’s topic was “Preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East.” The students worked to solve the problem by establishing a new council, which they named the Arab Cooperation and Defense Council (ACDC).

“It was impressive that we made our own council, named it, and made our own rules,” Jung said. “Our first resolution was unanimously agreed upon, and we all applauded together.”

“The hard work put into drafting and passing two committee resolutions by other members of the Council of the Arab League was truly inspiring,” said junior Taylor Fitterling said. 

Fitterling chose to represent Syria and enjoyed researching his country’s stances on particular issues. 

He said he learned three mains lessons at the conference: be careful when choosing a country that has not engaged in much international activity, be certain to “go beyond or expand upon your country’s ‘official’ position to deliver persuasive arguments and obtain support for your resolution,” and be willing to collaborate and compromise with other student delegations in order to foster a friendly and cooperative “international” environment.

Jung enjoyed how a small group of students was able to share their thoughts, resolve the problems at hand and achieve peace.

“Seeing us come together, I imagined a world without conflict and dispute.”

She is planning to attend graduate school to study international affairs, peaceful resolution and human rights in particular.

“Even though it’s just a Model UN, all the delegates were serious and critically thinking about the issues that the Middle East has today,” Jung said. “I found that we can definitely make a better world.”

Lyon’s Model UN team will compete again at the Midwest Model UN (MMUN) in February.

“The Model UN team this year brought well-deserved outcomes. They really worked hard throughout the semester,” Sung said. “I believe our students are prepared to face the next level of competition.”

Hendrix Odyssey Program Announces Project Funding for October 2020 Cycle

Despite the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hendrix students and faculty are still engaging in Odyssey projects and receiving funding. The Hendrix Committee on Engaged Learning is pleased to announce the recipients of Odyssey grants for the October 2020 cycle. Since 2005, the Committee on Engaged Learning has awarded $4,427,335.71 in competitive Odyssey grants to support 2,093 projects by Hendrix students and faculty. In this cycle, 10 projects received $13,988 in grants.

Jayla King

Scientists for Social Justice Podcast

Category: Global Awareness

Sponsor: Dr. Laura MacDonald

Jayla King and Dr. Laura MacDonald will work together to develop a new podcast that incorporates the unique perspective of scientists. They will focus on issues of social injustice in the higher educational system, especially as they relate to the scientific disciplines. In the podcast, they will highlight and discuss work done by scientists from diverse backgrounds, celebrate the accomplishments of scientists from historically marginalized groups, review literature, and talk with guest speakers about actionable solutions that lead to impactful change.

Bianca Littlepage

Tracking Revolutionary Art With Brooklyn Art Museum

Category: Artistic Creativity

Sponsor: Prof. Melissa Gill

Bianca Littlepage will participate in The Brooklyn Art Museum Sketchbook Project. Each participating artist fills a small book and returns it to the museum. In her sketchbook, Littlepage will track the evolution of revolutionary visual art movements, beginning with what is considered by art historian Kenneth Clark to be the “first great picture which can be called revolutionary in every sense of the word, in style, in subject, and in intention”: The Third of May by Francisco Goya. When completed, her sketchbook will join others in the museum’s archived collection that travels to popups, exhibitions and installations across North America.

Cole McVay

decARcerate Solitary Confinement Cell Reconstruction

Category: Service to the World

Sponsor: Prof. Ann Muse

Cole McVay will design and build a model solitary confinement cell that can be a teaching tool to raise awareness about prison abuses. McVay will work with decARcerate, an organization whose goal is ending the use of solitary confinement in Arkansas. The finished piece will be the actual scale of a real cell, and it will be transported across the state for viewing by citizens and policy makers.

Kashti Shah

Elite Hospice Volunteering

Category: Service to the World

Sponsor: Julie Brown

Kashti Shah will volunteer with Elite Hospice to provide companionship and assistance to hospice patients near her hometown in North East Arkansas. She hopes to gain experience interacting with patients, which will increase her emotional competence when dealing with the grief and troubles of patients and family. Working with hospice patients will also allow Shah to serve her community while comforting and supporting others during a vulnerable time.  

Rachel Stewart

Health and Legal System Lab Research

Category: Undergraduate Research

Sponsor: Dr. Jennifer Peszka

This fall, psychology student Rachel Stewart has been working remotely for the Health and Legal System Lab (HEALS) as a research assistant under the supervisor of Dr. Melissa Zielinski at University of Arkansas Medical School. She has participated in projects such as the COVID-19 Prison Project and Implementation and Effectiveness of Cognitive Processing Therapy in Community Corrections. Stewart will present the findings of her work at the lab to a group of both Hendrix students and fellow UAMS colleagues through Zoom due to COVID-19.

Dr. Mark Goadrich

Solving Real-world Problems with Tools from Mathematics and Computer Science: The COMAP International Contest in Mathematical Modeling

Category: Special Projects

The 37th International Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) will be held Feb. 4 – 8, 2021. Sponsored by COMAP, a non-profit organization focused on promoting modeling and applications in mathematics education, this contest requires students to work in teams of three over a weekend to tackle real–world mathematical modeling problems. Dr. Mark Goadrich will supervise nine students, divided into three teams, for this virtual contest. Over the previous six years, four Hendrix teams earned an Honorable Mention, placing them in the top 50% of all teams, and three teams earned a Meritorious distinction, placing them in the top 11% worldwide.

Dr. Julie Gunderson

Food and Agribusiness Webinar Series

Category: Professional & Leadership Development

One Hendrix student will work remotely as an intern at the Arkansas Department of Agriculture during the Spring semester of 2021, in this project coordinated by Dr. Julie Gunderson. The internship focuses on the development of a Food and Agribusiness Webinar Series, which will feature nationally and internationally recognized speakers. The student will be involved in the development and management of the hardware and software, the promotion of the Webinars via social media, and the editing and posting of the Webinars to online platforms.

Dr. Rod Miller

Paris Residency 2021

Category: Undergraduate Research

Conditioned on the lifting of travel bans, Dr. Rod Miller will take art students Anna Bivens, Jalache Davis, Julia Hooper, Addie Race to Paris in May to investigate the art of the late eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. Each student will select a work of art based on personal interests, put that work of art into an historical and physical context, and understand it from the point of view of the artist.  Each participant will produce an in-depth research paper on the chosen artwork.

Dr. Caitlin Scott

Lesson-plan development to introduce diverse scientists to general chemistry students

Category: Special Projects

According to the National Science Foundation and the PEW Research Center, Black and Latinx people are underrepresented in the STEM fields for reasons including, but not limited to implicit bias, race-based discrimination, the lack of Black and Latinx role models, and discouragement to enter these fields. To encourage and support more students from marginalized groups to continue their studies in the sciences, Dr. Caitlin will hire three student assistants who will research and interview chemists from groups traditionally under-represented in the sciences. The student assistants will identify readings and create discussion boards for students enrolled in the Spring 2021 General Chemistry II course. Based on the questions posed in the discussion board, student assistants will contact their chosen scientists and conduct an interview over Teams to learn about the scientist and their background, which will be shown to the General Chemistry students.

Dr. Martin Shedd

Hendrix Latin Play

Category: Special Projects

Dr. Martin Shedd will lead students in The Hendrix Latin Play project, which challenges students to translate and adapt Classical literature to modern audiences. Students select a comedy by the Roman playwright Plautus to transform into a 30-minute script, balancing the need to preserve the structure and situations of the ancient comedy with the goal of producing a work that conveys humor in the present day. The script is composed through a collaborative process that requires each student involved to consider the author’s intention, the source and construction of comedy, and how best to portray these features to an unfamiliar audience. The Latin Play culminates with performances for the Hendrix campus and, if possible, the University of Arkansas. This project is also underwritten by the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language.

Ouachita’s Hamilton awarded $297,000 Arkansas IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence grant

Ouachita Baptist University’s Dr. Sharon Hamilton, assistant professor of chemistry, has been awarded $297,431 in funding over the next two and a half years by the Arkansas IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) to support her research of incorporating proteins into novel modern wound dressings. Hamilton, who joined the Ouachita faculty in 2018, is working in collaboration with Dr. Suresh Thallapuranam, chair of bioinformatics research and professor at the University of Arkansas.

Hamilton’s research with Thallapuranam aims to accelerate the wound healing process by exploring the cellular responses to fiber mats and its release of larger molecules that aid in the healing process. She also will work alongside Ouachita students in the Department of Chemistry to conduct research during the academic year.

“This grant ensures that I am able to conduct high quality undergraduate research here at Ouachita,” Hamilton said. “It will allow me to provide our undergraduate researchers with projects that could significantly impact the fields of biomaterials, biomedical research and wound healing.”

Hamilton and Thallapuranam will work together in respect to their labs’ strengths; Thallapuranam’s lab will synthesize proteins, which will then be delivered to cells using nanofiber mats built in Hamilton’s lab at Ouachita.

“The mats we make in our lab contain materials that are designed to mimic features in the extracellular matrix in our bodies to encourage wound healing and cell growth,” Hamilton explained. “Overall, the goal of this proposal is to develop protein-loaded biomimetic fiber mats that promote positive cellular responses.”

“Dr. Hamilton jumped right in upon arrival at Ouachita and quickly established her research area,” said Dr. Tim Knight, dean of the J.D. Patterson School of Natural Sciences and professor of biology. “Students were quickly drawn to her research because it is so unique. Her research is pertinent for our pre-health profession students and I expect will be very popular.”

The application for Arkansas INBRE Research Development Grants is very competitive. According to the INBRE, only about 36 percent of applicants receive funding for their proposals.

“I was elated to learn that my proposal had been selected – and also quite relieved,” Hamilton said. “It takes a lot of time and effort to write and edit grants, so to have secured funding for the next two and a half years meant that I had a little bit of breathing space.

“It’s nice knowing that I have money to support my projects, and it allows me to take my time and explore other funding opportunities and agencies, as well as future project ideas,” she added.

Hamilton joined the faculty at Ouachita in 2018 and teaches several chemistry and CORE classes. In 2019, she received an Arkansas INBRE Summer Research Grant and an Arkansas Space Consortium Research Infrastructure Grant to support her development of a variety of synthetic polymers that mimic biopolymers found in the human body.

Hamilton earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Auburn University in 2004 and her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 2009.

According to its website, the Arkansas INBRE program was “created to expand the distribution of National Institutes of Health funding for behavioral and biomedical research.” It builds upon the Arkansas Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (BRIN), which “established a statewide network that links Arkansas institutions of higher education in support of a growing effort to build a biomedical research capacity in Arkansas.”

For more information about the J.D. Patterson School of Natural Sciences, visit obu.edu/natsci. For more information about the INBRE grant, visit  www.inbre.uams.edu or contact Dr. Sharon Hamilton at hamiltons@obu.edu or (870) 245-5092.

Sunderland Foundation Provides $500K Grant for Science Center at University of the Ozarks

University of the Ozarks has received a $500,000 grant from the Sunderland Foundation of Overland Park, Kan., for the University’s new science center project.

The gift is part of the University’s Climb Higher Campaign that recently surpassed the $68 million mark, significantly exceeding the campaign’s initial goal of $55 million. The campaign will conclude on April 14, 2021.

The Sunderland gift will go toward an $18.6 million renovation and addition to the University’s science center. The University has raised $17.5 million for the project to date.

“We are honored to have a new partnership with the Sunderland Foundation,” said Lori McBee, vice president for advancement and alumni engagement. “This investment will develop the careers of students from diverse economic and educational backgrounds, improve the environmental and health demands of society, enhance community partnerships through technology and research, and advance the career opportunities of graduates in Arkansas while keeping student costs down.  It’s exciting to move forward with them.”

The science center project will add 18,000 square feet to the current facility for the University’s natural and health science programs, including biology, environmental sciences, chemistry, health sciences, physics and psychology. The complete renovation to the existing building, which was built in 1969, will include state-of-art classrooms and laboratories as well as new dedicated research areas.

Construction is expected to begin in the spring on what will be the single largest capital construction project in the University’s 186-year history.

The Sunderland Foundation was established in 1945 by Lester T. Sunderland, who served as President of the Ash Grove Cement Company for 33 years as a highly respected leader in the cement industry. Since its inception, the Foundation, which continues to be led by Lester T. Sunderland’s descendants, has focused on supporting construction projects, awarding grants to nonprofits in the Kansas City region and other markets traditionally served by the Ash Grove Cement Company.  Grants are awarded in western Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, western Iowa, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Utah and Montana.