Rush Harding, the UCA board chairman and investment company executive, and his wife Linda have pledged a $500,000 gift to the University of Central Arkansas. The five-year pledge will support a scholarship for African-American students from Monroe County and UCA athletics.
The University of Central Arkansas Foundation recently received a
$500,000 gift from the Rush and Linda Harding Charitable Lead Trust.
According to the agreement, the foundation will receive $100,000 per
year for the next five years as a result of the Hardings’ planned
“For my wife and I, UCA has always been at the forefront for us and
at the top of our list for charitable giving. Our gifts this year
focused on education because it is something we believe in,” Rush
Harding is a 1976 graduate of UCA and president of Crews & Associates,
an investment firm based in Little Rock. He also has served on the UCA
Board of Trustees for 19 years and currently serves as chairman of the
His wife, Linda (Turner) is a 1982 graduate and an avid equestrian who
has bred horses and trained American Saddlebreds for more than 20
The Hardings’ planned gift will be used to support the Holloway-Hicks
Scholarship established by the couple in 2003 to provide financial
assistance to African-American students from Monroe County and other
students with need; UCA athletics, which is making its final transition
to Division I of the NCAA; as well as other areas of need.
"This lead trust gift is a guaranteed funding stream for the next five
years that will allow the university to better plan and address critical
needs. We appreciate the Hardings for their continued commitment to UCA.
The UCA Foundation will work closely with President Meadors to use this
gift appropriately," said Shelley Mehl, interim vice president of
UCA President Allen Meadors said he was touched by the couple’s
generosity. “The Hardings’ service and support over the years has
been incomparable. Their gift will touch many lives at UCA,” he said.
The gift is one of several major planned gifts that have made a
significant impact on UCA throughout its first comprehensive fundraising
campaign. Nearly $6 million has been received as a result of planned
“The wonderful thing about planned gifts is that they can be
established to make an immediate impact or a long-term impact depending
on the donors’ needs and desires. These types of gifts also may
provide significant tax benefits to donors while allowing them to make a
difference in students and faculty members’ lives,” Mehl said.