From left, Micah Hale, Janet Alley, Sam Alley, George Boykin.
During the summer of 2020, U of A alumni Sam and Janet Alley generously endowed the university with $2 million to create the Sam and Janet Alley Master of Science in Construction Management online program, with the first cohort of students beginning the program in January of 2021. The 30-hour interdisciplinary master’s degree program recently celebrated the first graduate from the program, George Boykin.
Boykin is the building systems manager for the U of A Athletics program. He has nearly two decades of hands-on construction industry experience and is a licensed contractor in the state of Arkansas. “This degree confirms my commitment to the industry, any prospective employers, my current employees and my commitment to continuing education,” Boykin said. “It provides the tools to be more effective and efficient in your current organization or can give you the confidence to start your own venture or consultancy service.”
The formation of this program is not just a result of the Alleys’ generosity and admiration for the U of A, but it also provides an opportunity that was not available before. “A master’s program did not exist for this discipline in Arkansas, and being able to help create a focused program for students to explore real-world applications of our industry is something I take great pride in,” Alley said.
Boykin sees the Sam and Janet Alley Graduate Program in Construction Management as an incredible opportunity for students. “The professors, lecturers and presenters have a wealth of knowledge and decades of experience in the industry, and it shows in the classroom and curriculum,” Boykin said. “I am excited about the momentum this program is already gaining, and I feel confident this program will bring value to Northwest Arkansas, surrounding states and more specifically, the construction industry.”
With the graduation of the first student, Mr. and Mrs. Alley have an optimistic outlook for the future of the program. “It is important that we continue to hire great teachers and bridge the gap between what happens on job sites and what students are learning in the classroom,” Alley said. “Our industry is constantly evolving, and this program should develop with that in mind, offering courses and opportunities for students to address current issues and developments in the industry.”
Opportunities for career self-improvement such as this are a result of generous donors like Mr. and Mrs. Alley. Boykin said, “I am excited for my future and the future of the program. I would like to thank both Sam and Janet Alley for their gracious endowment to be able to launch this one-of-a-kind program in the state of Arkansas.”
About the Sam and Janet Alley Master of Science in Construction Management Program: The online Sam and Janet Alley Master of Science in Construction Management is the first of its kind in the state and fills a growing need for construction leadership and expertise in all phases of development. Identified as a critical resource by public and private construction industry leaders, this program gives construction managers who already have a bachelor’s degree the necessary skills to lead a construction project from the design phase through completion. The program is named after Sam and Janet Alley, who have a long history of construction leadership in Arkansas and around the world. For more information please visit the website.
About the Department of Civil Engineering: The Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Arkansas was established in 1897 when the College of Engineering made clear the separation of civil and mechanical engineering degrees. The department maintains accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and ranks in the top 10 percent of civil engineering schools nationwide according to Best Engineering News. The department earned more than $3 million in research awards for fiscal year 2021, while our graduates earn a starting salary averaging $68,000. To learn more about the Department of Civil Engineering, please visit our website.