Roy and Christine Sturgis Educational Trust
The late Roy Sturgis, a native of Kingsland, Arkansas (Cleveland County), was one of 10 children born to an Arkansas farmer and homemaker. He quit school after the 10th grade to join the U.S. Navy during World War I. He returned to southern Arkansas after the war and began working in sawmills.
In 1933, he married Texas native Christine Johns. They spent most of their lives in Arkansas, but also lived in Dallas, Texas, from 1950 to 1970. They had no children, but were interested in educational opportunities for youth. Involvement in health and social services programs, medical research, and the arts also consumed much of their time.
They succeeded in the timber, lumber, and sawmill industries in Arkansas, owned other prosperous enterprises, and had notable success managing their investments. They eventually amassed a $40 million fortune.
Roy Sturgis died in 1976, and under the terms of his will some of his fortune went to a trust to be set up in Malvern, Arkansas. When Christine Sturgis died in 1981, shortly after the Sturgis trust in Malvern officially began operating, she willed her controlling interests to the Roy and Christine Sturgis Educational Trust, based in Dallas.
Generous philanthropic gifts from the Trust have established three prestigious programs within the J. William Fulbright College Arts and Sciences: