Chancellor’s Benefit for the Arts set for April 9

Honorees named

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) will host its 29th annual Chancellor’s Benefit for the Arts Saturday, April 9 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. A semi-formal gala that benefits visual and performing arts programs, and the University’s museums, the event will honor three outstanding individuals that have been selected for their extensive history of community involvement, philanthropic endeavors, and their exemplary record of service to the community.

“They are very much deserving of the honor, and they are to be lauded for setting a positive example through their hard work and dedication in promoting growth at our university and in our community,” said UAPB Chancellor Dr. Laurence B. Alexander.

The honorees are as follows:



Mrs. Mattie P. Collins, Retired Educator
A 1970 AM&N College (now UAPB) alumna and former Miss “A” State (AM&N College), Collins has an impressive testament to her dedication of teaching others. Now a retired educator after 39 years, she is proud to have taught for 35 very rewarding years at Pine Bluff High School and 4 wonderful years at Gould High School. While teaching at Pine Bluff High, she served as Chairman of the history department, founded the history club and history club chorale, sponsored the Mock Trial Team, Red Cross ICE Team, Arkansas Young Voters Education Program, sponsored Culture Festivals each year, sponsored Pathways to College where she promoted academic excellence among PBHS students. She also chaperoned students on annual college tours.

Because of her love for youth in the Pine Bluff Community, she along with several of her Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority sisters envisioned the Ivy Center for Education, Inc., Youth Mentoring program and worked to establish ACT Prep Programs to prepare students for college and an Annual College Tour/Cultural Enrichment Trip that exposes youth to colleges and universities and historical sites all over the nation. She is a member of Barraque Street Baptist Church, Jefferson County Retired Teachers Association, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Delta Omega Omega Chapter and former graduate advisor to the Alpha Rho Chapter of AKA. Her commitment to excellence has garnered several awards including the AKA Community Service Award, American Red Cross Hero, NAACP Dove Civil Rights Award, and the Joseph B. Whitehead Educator of Distinction Award, given by the Coca Cola Scholars Foundation. Mattie P. Collins has been married to Mr. Kenneth R. Collins, Sr. and have two children, Dr. Kenneth R. Collins, Jr., Mrs. Rayshana Collins Adams, and seven 7 grandchildren.



Dr. Calvin Johnson, Chancellor Emeritus

Dr. Johnson has a full, celebrated career at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff that spans from Chairman to Interim Chancellor. In July 2011, following Dr. Johnson’s retirement from UAPB, he was appointed to serve as Interim Chancellor from May 2012 to July 2013.  Prior to his appointment as Interim Chancellor, Dr. Johnson served as Dean of the School of Education for 18 years and Director of several grant sponsored projects and P-12 Partnership programs.  Before joining UAPB, Dr. Johnson served as Chairman, Department of Curriculum and Instruction at University of Arkansas at Little Rock and taught in the Arkansas public schools.

Having served on several state and regional boards and commissions, Johnson also served as a legislator, Arkansas House of Representative, for six years. Johnson served as the first African-American Chair of the House of Representatives Education Committee and Co-Chair of the Joint Education Adequacy Committee during the Arkansas court case Lakeview vs. State of Arkansas 2001-2003.  He also sponsored many legislative bills that impacted education, student achievement, teacher recruitment, teacher quality, and scholarships for minority students.

Johnson is the recipient of numerous awards, certificates, and recognitions for community service which include: Outstanding Service Award by the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper High Profile recognition, Bernice Jones Award for Advocacy on Behalf of Children and Families in Arkansas, 84th General Assembly Award of Appreciation, Arkansas Literacy Champion, and the Walton Family Foundation Scholarship Award.

A 1963 alumnus of AM&N College (now UAPB), Johnson holds Life Membership in the UAPB National Alumni Association and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and has memberships in many other professional associations and organizations including Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., and the Royal Knight Society.  He is a member of Barraque Street Church, where he serves as a Deacon. Dr. Johnson is married to Verbie Johnson and they have three sons, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.



Chuck Morgan, president and CEO of Relyance Bank N.A., Jefferson Bancshares Inc.

Morgan is a native of Pine Bluff and began his career at Union National Bank of Little Rock in 1985 then returned to Pine Bluff the following year, to work for Simmons First National Bank.  He began his career with Relyance bank (formally known as Pine Bluff National Bank) in 1988, with an opportunity to set up the bank’s first loan review function.  Morgan was named Executive Vice President in 1996 and as President and C.O.O. in 2005.  In 2006, he was named C.E.O. of Relyance Bank and Jefferson Bancshares Inc.

In addition to serving on his company’s boards, he currently serves on the Boards of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis – Little Rock Branch, Jefferson Regional Medical Center, The Jefferson County Industrial Foundation and Central Maloney, Inc.  An active member of First United Methodist Church of Pine Bluff where he serves as Lay Leader, Morgan’s past community service includes serving as President of the United Way of Southeast Arkansas, as Campaign Chairman for the United Way of Southeast Arkansas, former President of King Cotton Sports, former Chairman of the Greater Pine Bluff Chamber of Commerce, former Chair of Arkansas River Intermodal Facilities Board, former Chair of the Economic Development Alliance of Jefferson County and served as Chairman of the Arkansas Bankers Association. He and his wife Cappi Morgan have one daughter, Catherine Grace.

Tickets for the benefit are $125 per person and may be purchased in the Development Office, located in Childress Hall on the UAPB campus or by phone at 575-8701 or 575-8703.

Corporate/group/individual sponsorship levels are available at the following levels:

  • Platinum ($4,000) – Reserved seating for sixteen (2 tables); listing as platinum sponsor and full-page, full color ad in the souvenir program; listing as a sponsor in promotional materials; and eight (8) reserved parking passes.
  • Gold ($2,500) – Reserved seating for eight (1 table); listing as a gold sponsor and full-page black and white ad in the souvenir program; listing as a sponsor for six; listing as a silver sponsor and half-page black and white ad in the souvenir program; listing as a contributing sponsor in promotional materials; and three (3) reserved parking passes.
  • Silver ($2,000) – Reserved seating for six; listing as a silver sponsor and half-page black and white ad in the souvenir program; listing as a contributing sponsor in promotional materials; and three (3) reserved parking passes.
  • Bronze ($750) – Reserved seating for two; listing as a bronze sponsor and quarter-page black and white ad in the souvenir program; and one reserved parking pass.

For more information about the event, visit


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