Impacts of Giving
The late Raymond H. Hughes created a legacy at the University of Arkansas by founding the graduate program in physics. To honor his memory and his contributions to the department, his wife and children have made a $500,000 endowed gift to name the Raymond H. Hughes Graduate Program in Physics within the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.
Hughes, a professor in the University of Arkansas Physics Department from 1954 to 1990, brought the first research in atomic physics to the university. When the department granted its first doctorate in physics in 1964, then-assistant professor Hughes oversaw its direction. Under his guidance, the University of Arkansas program integrated the Master of Science degree as a key component of the Ph.D. program.
Balancing his devotion to the graduate program in physics and his family, Hughes was also father to four children. He and his wife Jane Wipson Hughes proudly watched all their children graduate from the University of Arkansas. Diane F. Hughes Huston of Sherwood, Ark., a graduate of the College of Education and Health Professions holds a Bachelor of Science in Education in elementary education and a Master of Education in educational administration. Marshall R. Hughes holds a Bachelor of Science from the Fulbright College’s geology program and lives in Dallas. Clayton W. Hughes, who lives in Tulsa, Okla., has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the College of Engineering, and Randall C. Hughes, from Rogers, Ark., holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from the College of Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from the Sam M. Walton College of Business.
For the Hughes children, the University of Arkansas campus was their “home away from home.” They all attended Peabody Elementary on campus, which felt like a private school to them since only professors’ children were admitted.
Their childhood campus involvement didn’t end there. Diane remembers visiting the Physics Building with her boyfriend and proudly pointing out her father’s name on some framed papers that had been published. One in particular, “Proton Impact on Atmospheric Gasses,” still stands out in her mind today. Marshall remembers his father performing science experiments with cub scouts and sharing rides to campus with his brothers and sister when they were students in college. He also notes his mother’s enthusiastic involvement in the kids’ activities. She ran the haunted house for the Peabody Halloween carnival and was a den mother for his cub scout troop. Mrs. Hughes was the ultimate scheduler of the household, making sure the kids made it to their various commitments.
When it came time for the Hughes children to attend college, there was no question where they would go. “College was never discussed with us while growing up; it was simply a given that we would all attend the University of Arkansas,” said Clayton W. Hughes, speaking on behalf of the family.
This connection, then, between family and university became the ultimate inspiration in their reason for giving back. “Because this university meant a great deal to our father, we decided to honor his legacy and devotion with something that would last longer than our lifetimes,” Clayton said. “Dad provided the university with a graduate program in physics. His support, along with our mom’s, helped nurture the graduate program and the university for 59 years. Now his children and his wife have ensured that Raymond Hughes’ name will remain with the program as it moves into the future.”
Julio Gea-Banacloche, professor and chair of the physics department, said, “Raymond Hughes founded the graduate program in physics, so it is quite appropriate to name it after him. Today, the physics department is an outstanding research department and an excellent place for students to work and to develop academic and professional skills. This gift will help to make it even better, which – of course – is just what Dr. Hughes always worked for.”
At the time of his retirement, Hughes held the rank of University Professor. He received the 1984 University of Arkansas Blue Key Award for research and has been listed in various “Who’s Who” publications, including “Who’s Who in America.” He also published 65 papers in physics journals.
Today, the Hughes children are still involved with the university that means so much to their family. The siblings attend Razorback games regularly and see each other often, despite living in different states. Jane, the matriarch of the family, is delighted that her children have given back to the department and university that hold such a strong place in their hearts. She says simply, “I am so proud of my family for honoring his name with this program.”
For Jim and Joyce Faulkner of Little Rock, the perfect opportunity to combine their passion for the arts with their desire to support the needs of the University of Arkansas came in the form of the new performing arts center — to be named the Jim and Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center — in the Old Field House on Garland Avenue.
The Faulkners’ gift of $6 million promises a state-of-the-art venue for exhibiting the musical and theatrical talents of students and faculty at the University of Arkansas.
“Joyce and I have been involved with music and other arts as far back as our grade school years in Malvern and Benton,” said Jim Faulkner, class of 1954. “In high school, we were both clarinet players in our bands. For my first couple of years in Fayetteville, I was in the Razorback Band, and that is a great memory for me. During our time in Little Rock, we have been involved with the Arkansas Symphony, the River City Men’s Chorus, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, the Arkansas Arts Center and several other groups. So when it was suggested that we might help in creating a new performing arts center for the university, it seemed like a good opportunity to combine our appreciation of the arts with our love for the University of Arkansas.”
The center will offer seating for more than 650. Musical groups to perform in the new facility include the University Symphony Orchestra, Concert Band, Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, Schola Cantorum, Concert Choir and Master Chorale. Theatrical performances will be staged by the University Opera, Music Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre and Boars Head Summer Theatre. The facility will also host the popular Summer Chamber Music Festival as well as provide space for public lectures, such as the recent appearance by President Bill Clinton, who delivered the inaugural presentation in the Dale and Betty Bumpers Lecture Series.
On-campus musical performances currently are hosted in the 238-seat Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall, now the site of more than 300 concerts annually. Theatrical productions are staged in the 250-seat University Theater.
“While our current venues have served the university well, their limited capacity is no longer sufficient,” said Chancellor G. David Gearhart. “When almost every institution of higher education and many high schools have performance venues offering more capabilities than these, it is obvious that improvement is needed if the university hopes to continue competing for top-flight fine arts students and faculty. In addition, we have submitted a proposal to the Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission requesting financial support. We believe its investment in this project is consistent with the commission’s mission: to promote Fayetteville’s cultural, recreational and economic vibrancy. This project is a win-win for both the city and the university.
“With the incredibly generous support of our close friends Jim and Joyce Faulkner, the dream of having a facility that better serves our students and faculty is coming true,” continued Gearhart. “I appreciate their sincere belief in this project and their vision for better serving our campus and the state of Arkansas.”
The experiences of the campus community as a whole will be improved by the new center, and the possibilities for students and faculty involved in the arts, specifically, will be greatly enhanced.
“As a Fayetteville native, a U of A alumna and a current graduate student, I’m really excited about the campus and community having access to a cutting-edge performance hall,” said Mary Margaret Hui (B.A. 2009, M.A. 2011). “It will foster a more complete college experience, and it demonstrates the University of Arkansas’ commitment to the arts.”
Not only will the new center serve current students and faculty, it will further position the university as a leader in the arts, directly impacting recruitment efforts.
“The new center will benefit the music and theater programs by providing a great new facility to showcase students’ talents, but we hope it will also be an attraction for those in Arkansas high schools who are considering these areas for careers,” said Joyce Faulkner.
The Faulkners are long-time supporters of the university. In 2011, they led the effort to purchase new uniforms for the Razorback Band by offering to match others’ gifts. The challenge was met and exceeded in a matter of weeks. They have funded Chancellor’s Scholarships in several fields of study and were involved in the restoration of Old Main. The Faulkners are A-plus Life members of the Arkansas Alumni Association and are recognized as Towers of Old Main, a cumulative giving society of the university. All five of their children attended the University of Arkansas, and they expect to have more Razorbacks in their family as their grandchildren grow up.
The Old Field House was dedicated in February 1938 and was part of a building boom that occurred on campus in the 1930s, thanks to the federal Public Works Administration. The construction of a performing arts center will involve renovation of the interior space, and the building’s exterior will be preserved.