A rather famous former Arkansas Razorback student-athlete is giving back to the athletic department in general and the football program in particular.
Wednesday morning, UA announced that Jerry Jones and his wife, Gene, have donated $10.65 million to Razorback Athletics. Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, was an offensive lineman on UA’s national championship team in 1964, the first and only in the program’s history.
“The University of Arkansas is a special place and has meant so much to me and our entire family,” Jones said in a statement. “We are honored to have the opportunity to give back to an institution, an athletics program and a state that has been such an instrumental part of our lives. My experiences at the University of Arkansas as a student-athlete under the legendary Coach Frank Broyles helped shape me as a man and guide me on my future career path. I would not be where I am today without those life lessons learned as a student-athlete at the University of Arkansas.
“Today under the leadership of Jeff Long, the Razorback program continues to provide those opportunities to young men and women competing for the University of Arkansas. I hope that in some way our gift can help provide the same transformational experience to all those student-athletes who choose to become Arkansas Razorbacks.”
A portion of Jones’ eight-figure gift will be utilized for what’s described as “a Wild Band of Razorbacks monument to establish a permanent tribute” to that title-winning team. The monument “will consist of six Razorbacks, accented by custom lighting and water features… will be approximately 20 feet high and 30 feet wide, with bronze Razorback hogs six feet tall and 12 to 14 feet long.”
The six Razorbacks will symbolize “individual characteristics indicative of the University of Arkansas and the Razorback Nation – Passion, Courage, Victory, Integrity, Unity and a Relentless Nature.”
In addition to the monument, the gift will support football team locker room at the Fred W. Smith Football Center; the soon-to-be-completed Student-Athlete Success Center; and the entrance lobby of the Student-Athlete Success Center.
“We are grateful to the Jones family for their extraordinary gift which will directly benefit the development of Razorback student-athletes for many years to come,” athletic director Jeff Long said. “It is only fitting that the Jones family, which is committed to the ideals of higher education and has been so deeply intertwined with the University of Arkansas for decades, is an integral part of the most impactful intercollegiate athletics’ facility we will have on campus. The Jerry and Gene Jones Family Student-Athlete Success Center will serve as inspiration to all current and future Razorback student-athletes, reminding them of the limitless opportunities available when they combine a degree from a nationally respected institution with the invaluable experiences gained through competing in intercollegiate athletics at the University of Arkansas.”
(Photo credit: Arkansas athletics)