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Toast to Twenty Years

Tango Rojo

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Food, Fellowship & Fun

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Photography by Dero Sanford

 Taste of Little Rock brings together devoted alumni, Trojans’ fans and civic leaders in support of the UA Little Rock vision to transform the lives of students and enrich the community. For nearly two decades, guests have gathered on the UA Little Rock campus to enjoy an evening of food, fellowship and fun. Alumnus James Bobo will be honored with the Lifetime of Service Award for his unwavering commitment to the university and devotion to the Natural State. 

   James enrolled at UA Little Rock after graduating from Little Rock Central High School. The son of a single mother with three siblings and his grandmother who lived with them, he admits college wasn’t necessarily a consideration for his family. “But my mom wanted us to further our education,” James reflects. “I think about kids who are in similar situations, whose families may not have the means to get them to college. That is one of the reasons I support the university – to help others get the opportunity to improve their education.”

   In 1978, James joined Entergy Arkansas as a power plant operator and enjoyed a career that spanned nearly four decades. During that time, James returned to UA Little Rock in pursuit of an MBA. Utilizing night and weekend classes, the accessibility and flexibility of the university’s curriculum complemented his busy work + family life. James credits UA Little Rock for his professional success. “My MBA really helped me to improve my critical thinking and analytical skills and move up in the company.” Upon retirement in 2017, his work at Entergy Arkansas included power plant operations, nuclear design engineering, customer service and regulatory services.

   Throughout the years, James has remained engaged with the university – serving on the UA Little Rock Alumni Board of Directors as well as the Centennial Campaign Cabinet.  He recognizes the invaluable friendships forged along the way. “Unique to UA Little Rock is the lasting relationships that are developed between the faculty and students which goes well beyond the classroom. I am still friends with some of my graduate school professors.” His civic leadership is evident throughout the Capital City – including support of Kappa Alpha Psi, the Little Rock Diamond Foundation and Fellowship Bible Church. James remains inspired and motivated to serve others in the community through his steadfast faith. “It’s a result of the relationship I have with God, sweet and simple.” 

   This resume of service is a testament of his commitment to young Arkansans and UA Little Rock is proud to recognize James at Taste of Little Rock. UA Little Rock Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni & Development Kristi Smith elaborates, “His career achievements reflect his talents and the quality education he received at UA Little Rock. James believes in our mission and has supported that through financial gifts and service.” Proceeds from Taste of Little Rock provide scholarships for students; last year 50 undergraduates received a combined $100,000. Kristi adds, “The support our alumni and donors provide students through numerous scholarships is an advantage students won’t find at any other university in the state. Affordability is extremely important to UA Little Rock and that’s why we are working so hard to establish scholarships.” 

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