The gift will support the Student-Athlete Academic Center.
Saracen Casino Resort and the Quapaw Nation are pledging $100,000 to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in support of the Student-Athlete Academic Center.
Located inside the J. Thomas May Fieldhouse, UAPB’s Student-Athlete Academic Center provides a space for deeper learning and access to academic coaches, according to a news release. Saracen’s pledge will provide the center with added support for resources needed allowing for continued academic, personal and professional development.
The pledge conveys the message that academic success is important and attainable for all students, interim athletics director Chris Robinson said.
“This gift comes at an exciting time for UAPB Athletics. Our student-athletes are on the rise and we want to ensure their rise in athletics is parallel to their academics,” Robinson said. “The center is a valuable resource that offers computers, meeting spaces and individual tutoring from staff to ensure our student-athletes can achieve their academic goals and be prepared for successful careers.”
Carlton Saffa, chief market officer at Saracen Casino Resort, said they are committed to being a true partner in the community.
“Our desire is to do our part in making sure that we add to the growth of this region,” Saffa said. “UAPB has a proud tradition of educating students and expanding opportunity, and we intend to be a part of that continued success.”
The funding is designed for students engaged with UAPB athletics to offer expanded learning opportunities, technology upgrades and personal guidance for achieving graduation success. The gift also allows for broader implications for the university, said George Cotton, UAPB vice chancellor for institutional advancement.
“UAPB and Saracen Casino Resort clearly represent two of the driving forces in expanding educational and economic growth throughout this region,” Cotton said. “The financial commitment by them to our university indicates their recognition that both organizations play a vital role in assuring the long-term strength and vitality of Jefferson County.”