Photography by Rett Peek | Shot on location at The Hornibrook Mansion The Empress of Little Rock
Innovative philanthrophy are two words not typically placed together, but it accurately describes the Chamberlin’s decades of service and generosity. The Chamberlins share their time and resources with a wide variety of organizations. Their family fund with the Arkansas Community Foundation combines their compassionate + finite focus on improving the lives of Arkansans through education. Like a rock tossed in a pond, the philanthropic impact ripples. “Students, the university and our community benefit from having more students graduate and serve,” John reflects.
For more than three decades, their support of UA Little Rock has provided resources to students such as training, equipment, internships and study-abroad experiences, and also supports initiatives for graduates to secure meaningful employment. Shannon jokes, “Helping to identify a need and addressing it is like a mission and a hobby rolled into one.” John and Shannon are creative civic-minded, problem-solvers who find answers to difficult questions. After encountering students who simply needed small funds to alleviate financial roadblocks to achieve graduation, the Chamberlins asked the school to test an idea of a scholarship program for this specific purpose. With this modest investment, UA Little Rock College of Social Sciences & Communication’s Last Mile Program was established and helped seven students graduate. Shannon and John’s heart for students is evident through this kind of personal and practical giving. Understanding their investment in students is for the greater good of the community.
The Chamberlins are an inspiration as they encourage others to embrace a philanthropic lifestyle. Through John and Shannon’s matching of gifts, others are motivated to pledge their support as well. They continue to connect prospective donors and community partners with UA Little Rock including Arkansas Community Foundation, Winrock International, the Venture Center, the Arkansas Natural Sky Association and many more. These connections have blossomed into major gifts – and in the end, graduation barriers are removed and UA Little Rock – as well as the community – is stronger for it. It’s these ripples that make Arkansas stronger and carry the legacy of learning into the future.
John & Shannon Chamberlin