Former UAMS Dean Donates $275,000 for Memorial Fountain
Former dean of two University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) colleges and longtime UAMS supporter Thomas A. Bruce, M.D., has donated $275,000 to construct a fountain on campus in memory of his late wife.
Bruce was the inaugural dean of the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health from 2001 to 2002, and dean of the College of Medicine from 1974 to 1985, and is a longtime supporter of UAMS in several other areas.
The memorial fountain will be named for Dolores Bruce, who died Jan. 11, 2013. It is under construction in a circular green space in front of the UAMS Medical Center and Ward Tower and will feature a basin that is 18 inches deep and 50 feet in diameter with a 25-foot center spray and eight 15-foot-high sprays arching toward the center, all highlighted with LED lighting.
"During the 11 years I was dean of the College of Medicine, Dolores worked as hard as I did to advance the well-being of faculty, staff and students and their families," Bruce said. "Her role was always voluntary, but it was no less enthusiastic and effective. Honoring her memory with a fountain in front of the hospital is just another way of furthering her lifetime goals, including creating a place of solace and rest, not just for patients and visitors, but a place of beauty and pride for all members of the campus family."
When the Bruce family lived in Little Rock in the 1970s and 80s, Dolores Bruce became involved in the Faculty Wives Club, the Winfield Methodist Chancel Choir and the Arkansas Opera Theatre. She also served as president of the Hall High School PTA. After returning to Little Rock in 2005, she served on the Little Rock Arts and Culture Commission and the board of directors of Wildwood Park for the Arts where the Dodi Tea House is named in her honor. She received a number of honors including the Special Appreciation Award and the Janet Pearcy Ambassador Award from Wildwood Park, the Double Helix Award from UAMS, the Spirit of Central High Award from Little Rock Central High School Museum, the Giving Tree Society Award of the Arkansas Community Foundation, Care Link's David Pryor Award for Community Service, and the President's Award as Philanthropist of the Year by the Arkansas Chapter of the American Society of Professional Fundraisers.
"We are honored that Dr. Bruce chose UAMS as the recipient of this generous gift," said UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D. "He has dedicated his life to the health and well-being of others. The fountain will serve as a permanent, beautiful tribute to his wife while serving as a place of respite for patients and families. A fountain and other enhancements to our campus have long been part of our master plan, and we are grateful Dr. Bruce is helping turn the vision into reality."
Bruce's gift was matched by the UAMS College of Medicine's Faculty Group Practice matching gifts fund, bringing the total to $550,000. A portion of the gift will support an endowment for operation and maintenance of the fountain.
Bruce Commons, a popular gathering spot for students, faculty and guests on the first floor of the UAMS College of Public Health, is named in honor of Bruce.