A former University of Arkansas – Fort Smith administrator who helped grow the university’s endowment to more than $50 million will be given the Diligence to Victory Award at the Homecoming Reunion Social at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at The Blue Lion at UAFS Downtown, located at 101 N. 2nd Street.
Dr. Marta Loyd, executive director of the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute and former vice chancellor for university advancement at UAFS, will be given the award, which is from the UAFS Alumni Association in recognition of notable UAFS alumni, as part of the UAFS homecoming festivities.
With a career beginning as a dental hygienist, Loyd served as interim director of the dental hygiene program at UAFS for a year before being promoted to vice chancellor for university advancement in 2002. In her 12-year tenure in that role, she was instrumental in transforming the Westark Community College Foundation to a comprehensive university foundation with an endowment of more than $55 million and assets of more than $75 million.
Additionally, she piloted a $57 million major gifts campaign, oversaw the development of the university’s first alumni association and served on the steering committee to develop a five-year strategic plan for UAFS.
She assumed her current position at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute in 2014, where she serves as the chief executive officer of the institute. Her major responsibilities include fiscal oversight, marketing and fundraising, program development and oversight, and maintaining relations with external partners.
“To be recognized by the university that I love and that gave me so much more than I gave it is honestly one of the most humbling honors I’ve ever received,” Loyd said. “I enjoyed my time at Westark as a student when I was in-between careers, and I especially loved working with the generous donors of the university in support of students, faculty and administration. UAFS is a unique and special place and will always be an important part of my life.”
In the letter nominating Loyd, she was also lauded for her continued involvement with UAFS, her efforts to create synergy between the university and the community, and her conception and development of educational and charitable programs.
Rick Goins, director of alumni affairs, said Loyd’s service to the foundation and the university were “transformational.”
“Marta’s impact on both the Alumni Association and the UAFS Foundation were transformational,” Goins said. “It’s safe to say the Alumni Association and the Diligence to Victory award she is receiving would not exist, and the UAFS Foundation and its Board would not be what they are without her guiding hand.”
Loyd attended UAFS when it was Westark Community College and earned her bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She earned her master’s degree in higher education leadership from the University of Arkansas and her doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri.
Named for the motto of the 1928 first graduating class at Fort Smith Junior College – “Through diligence to victory” – the award is the highest alumni honor bestowed by the university. Recipients are alumni who have distinguished themselves through service to the University, their community, state, or nation, or whose outstanding leadership in their business or professional lives exemplifies this motto.