UA honors Dillard, Hunt as 2015 ‘Chancellor’s Medal’ recipients

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 110 views 

Alumnus William T. Dillard II and philanthropist Johnelle DeBusk Hunt will be recognized as Chancellor’s Medal recipients at the University of Arkansas Towers of Old Main event on April 10. The recipients will be honored at the event along with other benefactors whose cumulative giving or commitment to the university has reached or exceeded $100,000.

Dillard of Little Rock will be honored because of his notable business accomplishments and service to the University of Arkansas and the state. He graduated from the Sam M. Walton College of Business with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and went on to earn an M.B.A. from Harvard.

“Bill Dillard is a very loyal supporter of the University of Arkansas,” said Chancellor G. David Gearhart. “I have enjoyed his friendship over the years and always appreciate his counsel. He is generous, shrewd, and a great conversationalist, whatever the topic. His family has made a lasting impression on our campus with their generosity, and I have always valued his support.”

Dillard has been an active member of the Razorback Foundation Inc. for more than five decades and recently made a gift to the Basketball Performance Center, which will open this summer adjacent to Bud Walton Arena.

Hunt is also being recognized because of her extraordinary achievements in the business world, her philanthropic leadership at the University of Arkansas and her outstanding support of the Northwest Arkansas region and the state.

A native of Heber Springs, Hunt attended the University of Central Arkansas as an education major and started The J.B. Hunt Company in 1962 with late husband Johnnie Bryan “J.B.” Hunt.

“Johnelle Hunt is deeply committed to the University of Arkansas and philanthropy,” said Gearhart. “She not only continues to support the university by volunteering her time and resources, but has also made a priority to hire our students over the years as well. She and J.B. were instrumental to our success during the Campaign for the Twenty-First Century, and she has continued to remain involved with Campaign Arkansas. It is a privilege to recognize her for everything she has done for our campus.”

In 2005, Hunt and her husband made a $5 million pledge that helped the university meet and surpass its $900 million campaign goal, which ultimately prompted the university to raise its goal to $1 billion. That same year, J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. made a gift of $10 million for the construction of the J.B. Hunt Transport Services Center for Academic Excellence, a technology-oriented, multi-use building.