LITTLE ROCK — A $2 million gift from the Walton Family Foundation and a $1.5 million gift from a California couple will fund an endowed chair at the University of Arkansas’ College of Education and Health Professionals, the university said Wednesday.

LITTLE ROCK — A $2 million gift from the Walton Family Foundation and a $1.5 million gift from a California couple will fund an endowed chair at the University of Arkansas’ College of Education and Health Professionals, the university said Wednesday.


The gifts from the foundation and from Palmer and Marie Hotz of Foster City, Calif., will allow the college to create its first endowed dean’s chair, which will be named in honor of Palmer Hotz’s father, Henry G. Hotz, who was the college’s fourth dean.


The university said the endowed chair will allow the College of Education and Health Professions to recruit a highly qualified person to lead the college and provide resources to further the dean’s contribution to teaching, research and public service. The holder also will be a full-time member of the University of Arkansas faculty.


The college’s current dean, Tom Smith, will be the first holder of the chair. Smith accepted a five-year appointment as dean in 2010 and recently agreed to remain in the post for another year.


Palmer Hotz is a retired scientist and professor who has a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Arkansas and a Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. His wife, Marie Brase Hotz, also has a Ph.D. from Washington University.