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Lyon receives $1 million gift from Wilson family
As the beginning phase of construction begins on new residence halls, Lyon College is proud to announce the receipt of a $1 million lead pledge from the R.E. Lee Wilson Trust Foundation to help fund the new residence halls.
“Lyon College is blessed with a long series of Board Chairmen who have been willing to lead by example. Chairman Wilson, I am pleased to say, is continuing that tradition. Lyon is at a critical time in its history, and Chairman Wilson’s leadership sets the right tone at this time for the college and the Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Donald Weatherman, president of Lyon.
Lyon will receive the funds in five installments over the next five years. Perry Wilson, Lyon’s chairman of the Board of Trustees as well as a trustee with the foundation, said the foundation trustees believe in the merits of a liberal arts education, which is the foundation of Lyon’s curriculum. Wilson serves as one of the foundation trustees along with his uncles, Steve and Bobby Wilson.
“The gift from the R.E. Lee Wilson Trust Foundation was prompted by a recognition of the trustees of the foundation as to the important role that Lyon College plays in the State of Arkansas, and by the realization that Lyon College can only succeed in its dynamic growth plan if private foundations and individuals who believe in the merits of a liberal arts education step up and help to fund that vision,” Wilson said.
Two new residence halls, projected to be completed in the fall 2015, will accommodate 100 students each. In addition to the new facilities, Brown and Barton Apartments will be completely renovated. Lyon is set to welcome its largest incoming-freshman class in the institution’s history this fall.
“Both as chairman of the board of trustees of Lyon College and as a proponent of liberal arts education in general, I am thrilled with the direction in which Lyon is headed. Lyon has made several huge changes in the past couple of years, and those changes are paying off already in increased enrollment and a higher profile for Lyon College without compromising admission standards,” Wilson said.
Wilson joined the Lyon Board of Trustees in 2009 and was elected as chairman in the spring of 2012. His father, Mike Wilson, was a longtime board member and instilled a passion for education and appreciation for Lyon College in his son.
“As a moderate private liberal arts college, Lyon has a significant and unique place in Arkansas higher education. I’ve had several people tell me that Lyon College is Arkansas’ best-kept secret. Let it be a secret no more! With high admission standards, an incredibly appealing teacher to student ratio, and rigorous academic programs, Lyon College produces graduates who are exceedingly well-prepared to succeed in life and to make a significant impact on the world around them,” Wilson said.
Lyon College is an undergraduate liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Founded in 1872, it is the most established independent college in Arkansas. Lyon provides a residential learning community distinguished by its unique student-driven honor system, innovative house system, and endowed Nichols International Studies program. Lyon has been ranked in the top tier of best national liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report and Washington Monthly and named one of “America’s Best Colleges” by Forbes.com. Fourteen Lyon College faculty members have earned the distinguished Arkansas Professor of the Year award.