Couple Endow UAMS Chair in Nutritional Longevity

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – William J. Evans, Ph.D., a nationally known advocate for senior nutrition and exercise, was formally invested today as the first recipient of the Jane and Ed Warmack Chair in Nutritional Longevity at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).


Evans is a College of Medicine professor of geriatrics, physiology and nutrition and director of the Nutrition, Metabolism and Exercise Laboratory in the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging at UAMS. He also is a research scientist with the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System.


The endowed chair, which was celebrated at an investiture ceremony at the Institute on Aging, will support research on diet and exercise related to the aging process.


The Warmacks, of Texarkana, have been devoted for more than 30 years to the kind of diet and exercise regimen that Evans suggests, making a dramatic difference in their quality of life. A major gift by the Warmacks, which was matched by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation during a recent fund-raising campaign, created the endowed chair.


“Investments such as this by Ed and Jane Warmack are celebrated for many reasons,” said UAMS Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson, M.D. “Being named to an endowed chair is a prestigious accomplishment, and it helps UAMS attract and retain the very best researchers and clinicians. The gift is also a testament to the public support that exists for UAMS.”


Institute on Aging Advisory Board Chairman James E. Darr Jr. of Little Rock presented Warmack with a specially crafted commemorative lawn chair produced by Torrans Manufacturing of Etoile, Texas.


Wilson and E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., dean of the UAMS College of Medicine, presented Evans with a commemorative medallion.


Evans came to UAMS in 1997 after serving on the faculties of Tufts University in Boston and Penn State University. In his book, Astrofit, he outlined a fitness program based on one he helped develop for NASA astronauts. Evans has been invited to speak to Congress several times; last spring he proposed ways to prevent and affordably treat chronic diseases among older adults. His suggestions to Congress could help seniors lead healthier lives and save Medicare dollars.


Ed Warmack is a businessman whose company’s accomplishments include the production of more gas heaters than any other company in the United States in the 1940s. Warmack and Company also produced steel lawn chairs at a rate of 500 chairs per hour, shipping 20 train carloads per week. He has spent the last 40 years in commercial rental property, building more than 6.5 million square feet of commercial properties, including seven malls in 10 states. 


UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, five centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,320 students and 690 residents and is the state’s largest public employer with almost 9,000 employees. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $4.3 billion a year.


UAMS centers of excellence are the Arkansas Cancer Research Center, Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy and Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute.