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UA receives $500,000 from Florida couple

Gift to support library, cafe projects by Jaime Adame | October 21, 2021 at 3:01 a.m.

FAYETTEVILLE -- A $500,000 gift from a Florida couple with deep Arkansas roots will establish a new campus cafe and help pay for future renovations to the main campus library at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

Kim and Chris Fowler, of Key West, Fla., are providing support for what's considered the second phase of the Mullins Library project.

In August, UA reopened the library's third and fourth floors after renovations that included new collaboration and study rooms for students. The first phase of renovations cost just under $25 million, said Kelsey Lovewell Lippard, public relations coordinator for UA Libraries.

"Mullins Library has needed some aesthetic updates, and we really wanted to support the overall vision of having a more lively, bright, accommodating environment for students and other visitors," Kim Fowler said in a statement released by the university.

Kim Fowler is a member of the dean's advisory council for UA libraries, and Chris Fowler is president of Jonesboro-based Fowler Foods Inc., which operates more than 90 KFC and Taco Bell restaurants in eight states.

Architectural planning for the second phase of renovations is expected to begin this spring and will feature a cafe that's to be known as Fowler's Nook in honor of the couple. The cafe space is planned for the main floor of Mullins.

Lovewell said there's no start date yet for additional renovations to begin. The project awaits approval from the University of Arkansas board of trustees.

Print Headline: UA receives $500,000 from Florida couple


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