University of Arkansas - Fort Smith First Lady Janice Beran was formally acknowledged Feb 8 by the board of directors of the UAFS Foundation for “tireless efforts and contributions made to this community and university.”
Robert Young III, chairman of Arkansas Best Corporation, presented Beran with a copy of the board’s resolution during a meeting of the board at the UAFS campus. Young, whose tenure on the board ended this year after 18 years of service, led the move to publicly honor Beran.
The resolution noted Beran’s voluntary service as an ambassador for the university through her participation and leadership in a variety of civic and academic organizations. Beran serves on the boards of BOST and Fort Smith Chorale and is involved with the Fort Smith Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, and PEO, a national philanthropic organization to support women's education, as well as a number of university committees and councils.
The resolution also lauded Beran’s regular attendance at student athletic events and performances, her key role in the formation of the Chancellor’s Coalition for the Visual Arts and the Lionhearts volunteer organization, and her leadership of the effort to commission “Numa,” the 15-foot bronze lion sculpture that has quickly become a symbol of the university.
Janice and Chancellor Paul B. Beran came to UAFS in 2006 from Northwestern Oklahoma State University, where Mrs. Beran was also an active First Lady. Before that, she had served on the faculty and administration at educational institutions in several states.
The UAFS Foundation board is composed of approximately 30 members of the Greater Fort Smith community who help guide the university’s fundraising efforts and manage its endowment, as well as serving as key ambassadors to the private sector.