Jerry Jones family makes $10.65 million gift to Razorback Athletics

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his wife, Gene, have made a gift of $10.65 million to Razorback Athletics to support the soon-to-be-completed student-athlete success center, a monument to the 1964 football championship team, and the team locker at the Fred W. Smith Football Center.

Also, the entrance lobby of the proposed Jerry and Gene Jones Family Student-Athlete Success Center will be named in honor of Mr. and Mrs. John Chambers, Gene Jones’ parents. 

Jones was a member of Arkansas’ 1964 national championship football team.

In recognition of the Jones’ gift, a recommendation has been made to the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees to name the new facility the Jerry and Gene Jones Family Student-Athlete Success Center. The Board will consider the resolution during its regularly scheduled meetings today and tomorrow in Little Rock.

“The University of Arkansas is a special place and has meant so much to me and our entire family,” Jerry Jones said in a statement from the university. “We are honored to have the opportunity to give back to an institution, an athletics program and a state that has been such an instrumental part of our lives. My experiences at the University of Arkansas as a student-athlete under the legendary Coach Frank Broyles helped shape me as a man and guide me on my future career path. I would not be where I am today without those life lessons learned as a student-athlete at the University of Arkansas.”
The proposed Jerry and Gene Jones Family Student-Athlete Success Center will address the academic, nutritional, personal and professional development of more than 460 student-athletes and will create an integrated academic support program focused on the graduation of all student-athletes at the University of Arkansas. 

The Student-Athlete Success Center will become the new home of the Bogle Academic Center and will help meet the needs of student-athletes by providing multiple learning environments including academic advising and course preparation, leadership training through the Razorback Leadership Academy, career planning and service learning. The facility is being constructed at the corner of Meadow Street and Stadium Drive between Pomfret Hall and John McDonnell Field and is targeted for completion in late summer/early fall 2015.

The “Wild Band of Razorbacks” monument will consist of six Razorbacks, accented by custom lighting and water features. The bronze monument will be placed along Razorback Road on the northwest corner of the lawn of the Fred W. Smith Football Center, just south of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The full monument will be approximately 20 feet high and 30 feet wide, with bronze Razorback hogs six feet tall and 12 to 14 feet long. 

Designed as a complete work of art, the monument includes six Razorbacks representing individual characteristics indicative of the University of Arkansas and the Razorback Nation – Passion, Courage, Victory, Integrity, Unity and a Relentless Nature. The monument was designed by master sculptor Dick Idol. Idol says that when completed the “Wild Band of Razorbacks” monument will be one of the “the finest and most spectacular mascot based sculptures in North America.”

The Jerry and Stephen Jones Locker Room in the Fred W. Smith Football Center is the daily home of Razorback Football and is named in honor of the two former Razorback football student-athletes. Jerry Jones played for the Razorbacks from 1962-64 while his son Stephen Jones played for the Razorbacks from 1984-87. Stephen Jones is chief operating officer, executive vice president and director of player personnel with the Cowboys. In addition, Stephen is the chairman of the Never Yield steering committee, an athletics’ initiative as part of the University’s Campaign Arkansas.

On Dec. 31, 2014, Jones deeded approximately 256 acres of land to the Razorback Foundation. The land was independently appraised in March 2014 at a value of $8.65 Million. There are no immediate plans for use of the land.