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story.lead_photo.caption University of Arkansas students are shown on the lawn in front of Old Main on the campus in Fayetteville in this file photo. - Photo by David Gottschalk

FAYETTEVILLE -- A $2 million gift from Little Rock couple Sam and Janet Alley will establish an endowment for a new interdisciplinary construction management program at the University of Arkansas.

Sam Alley, a 1979 UA civil engineering graduate, is chairman and CEO of construction company VCC, which he also co-founded in 1987.

"There is no denying how critical the role my education from the U of A and the relationships I built there played in our lives," he said in a statement released by the university.

The couple's gift will establish the Sam and Janet Alley Master of Science in Construction Management Program within UA's College of Engineering. The state Division of Higher Education is to consider approval for the new program July 31, according to UA.

"I'm excited to help create a program where future leaders in our state can learn about the great work we do in construction and find their place to add value," Sam Alley said.

Construction managers "plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from start to finish," according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The federal bureau projects the occupation to grow 10% from 2018 to 2028, a rate considered to be faster than the average for all occupations.

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