Fayetteville philanthropist Jim Blair announced Monday (March 25) he will donate $2 million to the Fayetteville Public Library’s $23 million capital campaign, “Beyond Words.”
Blair made the announcement at a capital campaign kickoff event at the library. The money will be used for the library’s ongoing expansion project. Construction is underway and is expected to be complete by fall 2020.The expansion will add 82,500 square feet of space. There’s also plans for a 700-seat multipurpose center and an outdoor courtyard.
“Jim Blair’s generosity to this library and to this community knows no bounds,” said David Johnson, the library’s executive director. “His latest gift is certain to inspire private support that is vital to the success of our $23 million capital campaign.”
Blair’s lead gift of $3 million helped establish the existing Fayetteville Blair Library, which opened in 2004. The library is named in honor of Blair’s late wife, Diane Divers Blair; his grandmother, Bessie Motley Blair; and his aunt, Dr. Mary Grace Blair.
“You don’t have to have a passport or a visa or a driver’s license or anything else to come use the library, so there’s a world of knowledge there for anyone who wants to come get it and a lot of people have taken advantage of that and a lot of people ought to take advantage of that,” Jim Blair said.
Blair was a prominent attorney in the state for years and was appointed general counsel for Tyson Foods Inc. in 1980. He held that job until retiring in 2000.
For more on today’s announcement, visit Talk Business & Politics content partner KUAF 91.3 FM, the flagship National Public Radio station for Northwest Arkansas.