Sen. Dale Bumpers

Tyson Foundations Help Endow Bumpers College Lecture Program

April 20, 2012

The Tyson Family Foundation and the Tyson Foods Foundation have made a gift of $250,000 to help endow the Dale and Betty Bumpers Distinguished Lecture Program, coordinated by the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas.

“Tyson entities have supported initiatives across campus for many years,” said Michael Vayda, dean of Bumpers College. “The Bumpers College, in particular, has benefitted greatly from their widespread generosity. From capital projects to endowed scholarships and professorships to their most recent lead support of the Jean Tyson Child Development Study Center, their impact continues to improve the learning experience for our students. This lecture program is one more way our students will have unique opportunities to be inspired and gain new perspectives.”

The annual lecture program symbolizes Bumpers College’s recognition of three vital issues: the international prominence of Arkansas agricultural and food industries; the importance of environmental stewardship for the strength and vibrancy of our economy; and the quality of life as championed by Betty Bumpers on behalf of child wellness, human development and healthy living choices.

“Tyson Foods and the Tyson family are pleased to make a $250,000 contribution to support the Bumpers Distinguished Lecture Program,” said John Tyson. “Senator and Mrs. Bumpers have made so many contributions to the state of Arkansas over the past 40 years that it is more than fitting to establish this lecture series to recognize what they have done for our state and its citizens. My mom and dad were very early supporters of Senator Bumpers when he first ran for governor in 1970, and were always proud to have been involved in helping launch his career. I hope others will join us in providing financial support for this effort to bring in experts in the areas of agriculture and life sciences to help further educate the students at the University of Arkansas, particularly those in the Bumpers College.”

The lecture program was kicked off Sunday, April 15, with a visit from President Bill Clinton, founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd president of the United States. President Clinton spoke about global agriculture, challenges in developing countries and the need for systems to improve the way people are fed. He also participated in a question and answer session with students. President Clinton and Sen. Bumpers have been friends for 40 years, and the lecture was an opportunity to honor the legacies of the college’s namesake and his wife, Betty.

“Betty and I are pleased by the possibilities of this distinguished lecture program,” said Sen. Bumpers. “The Tyson support, which ensures the program’s success and growth, is outstanding. We want this effort to be meaningful for both students and the entire university community, and President Clinton’s visit was a most special and fitting way to jump-start the program. We deeply appreciate the commitment of the Tyson family for this advancement of education in Arkansas and improving agriculture and the quality of life around the world.”

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