Our Mission: What We Do, and Why

Mission statement: Our mission is to carry on the legacy of Governor Winthrop Rockefeller and to serve as a catalyst for furthering the mission of the University of Arkansas System by bringing together people of diverse ideas and interests to address subjects of state, regional, national and international importance. These conferences will serve as a force for change by encouraging the free flow of ideas, maximizing the intellectual interaction of participants and disseminating resulting information to the appropriate audiences.

Vision statement: Our vision is to serve as a world-class convening center using leading-edge conference technology, contributing to discussion and exploration of strategic matters of local, national and global policy or of matters of significant, scientific, cultural or other academic interest.

The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute exists to honor and perpetuate the remarkable legacy of a remarkable man. Established in 2005 when the Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust granted the University of Arkansas System a 188-acre campus that was once part of the home and cattle farm of Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller, the Institute perpetuates Rockefeller’s strong belief in the power of collaboration and in the free exchange of ideas.

We do so by convening select groups of public, business and thought leaders to deepen understanding of a wide range of topics and to advance solutions to issues of state, regional, national and international importance. During his 20 years here atop Petit Jean Mountain, Gov. Rockefeller himself famously convened no fewer than 200 such conferences, addressing an astonishing range of subjects.

When not hosting one of our own Institute programs, we also offer our pastoral campus and its historic buildings and grounds to various organizations and other groups as a unique venue for meetings, retreats and conferences. Such events are held in the same halls where Gov. Rockefeller's groups of leaders and thinkers gathered to hammer out solutions to the challenges facing the state and nation. While still retaining their historic character, those halls have been updated with the latest in conference technology and guest amenities.

Finally, we work to share Gov. Rockefeller's legacy still more broadly by maintaining a museum of historic photos, documents and films and by inviting the public to explore our grounds and enjoy our weekday lunch buffet at the River Rock Grill. Additionally, we offer a series of popular culinary classes, plus special public workshops, seminars and performances.

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