Starting at the top | Arkansas Blog

Starting at the top



Makes sense. Former President Bill Clinton will be the first speaker Aug. 7 in the new Frank and Kula Kumpuris Distinguished Lecture series at the Clinton School of Public Service. Full release on the jump.


President Clinton will be the inaugural speaker in the Frank and Kula Kumpuris Distinguished Lecture series, it was announced today. Established with a $500,000 matching gift from the Kumpuris Family to the Clinton School in honor of their mother and in memory of their father, the lecture series is presented by the Clinton School of Public Service, the William J. Clinton Foundation and AT&T.

The inaugural lecture is scheduled for August 7, 2007 at the Clinton Presidential Center Great Hall. This invitation-only lecture will be the first in a series that promises to bring national and international figures to Little Rock to speak on important issues.

“Our family is thrilled to have President Clinton as the inaugural lecturer in this series,” said Dean Kumpuris, speaking for the Kumpuris family. “I know President Clinton, through this series, will help advance the spirit of our parents in civic engagement. With the President’s gifts of his Library and School to Arkansas, his legacy continues to give back to our city and state.”

Dr. Frank Kumpuris, a prominent Little Rock physician and surgeon, served for 10 years on the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees and Kula Kumpuris has been actively involved in numerous civic, charitable and community activities.  The entire family has a strong commitment to quality higher education.

“AT&T is honored to be a presenting sponsor of this distinguished lecture series and we thank the Kumpuris family for establishing it,” said Eddie Drilling, president of AT&T Arkansas. AT&T contributed $225,000 of the $500,000 match to the Kumpuris Family gift. The remainder of the matching funds came from numerous other gifts.


“We owe the Kumpuris Family a great deal of gratitude for their vision in establishing this distinguished lecture series,” said Skip Rutherford, dean of the Clinton School.  “We are grateful to the Clinton Foundation and AT&T for their partnership on this project and we plan to schedule anywhere from two to four lectures a year.”


“The Clinton Foundation is pleased to partner with the Clinton School and AT&T in bringing forth the vision of Frank and Kula Kumpuris,” said Stephanie Streett, executive director of the Clinton Foundation. “This series compliments one of the main goals of then Clinton Center to provide educational programming and advance dialogue throughout the community.”


By age 23, Little Rock native Frank Kumpuris had graduated from both Tulane University and Tulane University Medical School in New Orleans. He did his internship at Charity Hospital in New Orleans and his surgical residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. During his 41 years of practicing medicine, he also served as Chief of Surgery at St. Vincent Infirmary and Medical Center as a member of the UofA Board of Trustees; he spearheaded the development of the Cammack Campus (System Office and Office of the President) and the implementation of system-wide educational standards. He also served as President of the Parents and Alumni Board at Washington and Lee University, where his sons received their bachelor's degrees.


Kula Makris Kumpuris is a native of Pine Bluff. She has been an active member of the Little Rock Garden Club and has participated in numerous volunteer projects for the Little Rock Public Schools, Our House, the Arkansas Symphony, the University of Arkansas and St. Francis House. She is a member of St. Mark's Episcopal Church and is a Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow.


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