Farmer Theatre Endowment established at U of O

Release Date: 1/15/2008

Clarksville, Ark. --- An endowment has been established for theatre productions at the University of the Ozarks to honor 1941 Ozarks alumni Cecil and Ruth Boddie Farmer.

The Cecil and Ruth Boddie Farmer Theatre Production Endowment was established by their children, Dr. Pat Farmer of Clarksville and Mrs. Heber Farmer McKissack of Conway.  The endowment will help fund an annual production by the University Theatre in conjunction with the university’s Alumni Weekend, held each spring.

The Farmers lived in Conway from 1969 until their deaths, Cecil in 2001 and Ruth in 2004. Ruth was acquisitions librarian at the University of Central Arkansas for many years. Cecil was a cattleman and dairyman. They were long-time members of the Conway First Presbyterian Church and served as elders in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Both were 1941 graduates of what was then College of the Ozarks and Ruth served on the University’s Alumni Board for many years. Ruth also earned a master’s degree in library science from Indiana University.

Pat Farmer, Walton Professor of Theatre at Ozarks, said he would like the theatre productions to positively reflect the Christian values and ideals held so dearly by his parents.

"Our parents had a deep and enduring love for Ozarks," Farmer said.  "They were always mindful of the opportunities that their Ozarks education provided, and wanted to ensure that future generations would receive those same blessings from Ozarks. They understood the importance of a well-rounded liberal arts education and of the role that the arts play in the educational philosophy. They understandably were interested in Ozarks Theatre and attended almost every production for more than 15 years, bringing their three grandchildren to many of the plays. They got to know many theatre students and came to love the many special students they met, among them Evan Chronister, Lisa Gruben Inness, Shannon Parker Thompson, Ginny Myers Sain, Robert Addis, Tammy Labude, Tony Mariani and Trillian. We thought it appropriate to honor their devotion to Ozarks by establishing this Alumni Weekend production endowment. It is our hope that by our action, we encourage others to support this university that we all love so much.

If you would like to contribute to The Cecil and Ruth Boddie Farmer Theatre Production Endowment, please contact the University of the Ozarks Advancement Office at 479-979-1230.

Endowment Gift
University of the Ozarks Theatre Professor Dr. Pat Farmer of Clarksville (second from left) and Mrs. Heber Farmer McKissack of Conway (second from right) recently established the Cecil and Ruth Boddie Farmer Theatre Production Endowment at U of O in honor of their late parents. Also pictured are U of O President Dr. Rick Niece and U of O First Lady Sherée Niece.