News Release from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Little Rock Couple’s Gift of More Than
$1 Million to UAMS Honors Pine Bluff Banker
LITTLE ROCK — J. Thomas May of Pine Bluff was honored May 24 in a ceremony at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) for a gift of more than $1 million given in his name by Little Rock couple William E. “Bill” and Margaret Clark.
The gift will establish the J. Thomas May Chair in Oncology at UAMS, which was presented at the same ceremony to Bart Barlogie, M.D., Ph.D. Barlogie is director of the UAMS Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy (MIRT) and professor of medicine and pathology in the UAMS College of Medicine.
“This generous gift from Bill and Margaret Clark will help make it possible for UAMS to recruit the finest physicians and researchers in the field of oncology,” said UAMS Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson, M.D. “We are pleased to accept this gift in honor of Tommy May, his dedication to the state of Arkansas and his service to the University of Arkansas system.” Bill Clark and May served together for nine years on the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees.
May is chairman and chief executive officer of Simmons First National Corporation in Pine Bluff and Simmons First National Bank. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; the National Commercial Lending School; and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking.
“Tommy is a dear friend whom I deeply admire and respect,” said Clark, chairman and CEO of CDI Contractors in Little Rock. “Margaret and I are honored to be able to present this gift to UAMS in his name.”
In addition to serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, May has an extensive background in civic and community service, including serving on the UAMS Department of Psychiatry capital campaign steering committee. He also has received numerous awards, including the KARK Community Service Award, the Arkansas Pioneer Award and the Arkansas March of Dimes Citizen of the Year. He holds an honorary doctorate of law from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Since joining UAMS in 1989, Barlogie has developed one of the most highly regarded myeloma programs in the world. MIRT has seen more than 6,000 new patients and has changed the course of the disease through novel diagnostic procedures and therapeutic interventions.
He was one of three physicians in the country who in March were honored in New York with the 2006 National Physician of the Year by Castle Connolly, Inc., the organization responsible for the annual America’s Top Doctors publication.
An endowed chair is the highest academic honor that can be bestowed by a university on its faculty. The first named chair was established in England in 1502, when Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, established the Lady Margaret Professorship of Divinity at Oxford and Cambridge. An endowed chair at UAMS is supported with designated gifts of $1 million or more. A donor may name a chair in memory of a loved one or to honor a person’s accomplishments.
UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, five centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,320 students and 690 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 9,300 employees, including nearly 1,000 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the VA Medical Center. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $4.4 billion a year.