UA alumna makes $6M donation to alma mater

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 2,701 views 

The Cordia Harrington Center for Excellence at the University of Arkansas.

The chief executive of a Tennessee-based food production company is donating $6 million to her alma mater, the University of Arkansas.

The school announced March 18 a $6 million gift from alumna Cordia Harrington of Franklin, Tenn., the CEO of Crown Bakeries. The money will support a new student success center on the Fayetteville campus. The 70,000-square-foot facility opened recently between Memorial Hall and Old Main as a hub for academic, financial and social support for students.

With the donation, in addition to future gifts from Harrington, the center will be renamed The Cordia Harrington Center for Excellence. In a news release, the UA referenced the facility shorthand as The CORD (Create Opportunities, Reach Dreams). UA officials held a dedication event for the facility on Friday (April 8).

“We are grateful to Cordia Harrington for her support of student success,” Charles Robinson, UA interim chancellor, said in a statement. “Thanks to her generosity, the university will be able to do even more to help our students make the most of every opportunity, both here on campus and after graduation.”

Harrington graduated in 1976 and was the first in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree. Forbes has recognized her as one of America’s most successful self-made women. She was the first female international president of the Chief Executives Organization and the chairwoman of the American Bakers Association in Washington, D.C.