March 1, 2008

Guy and Ellen Brown of Fayetteville have established an Access Arkansas scholarship in the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas. The need-based scholarship, titled the Ellen Tarshis Brown Access Arkansas Scholarship, will be awarded to one or more nursing students each year enrolled in the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing.

The couple created a nursing scholarship with a $25,000 gift in 2005, and they recently doubled their gift in order to increase their support of need-based scholarships through the Access Arkansas initiative.

Guy Brown is a 1962 graduate of the University of Arkansas, and both Guy and Ellen are dedicated to the future of the nursing program. Ellen Brown, a retired nurse, has a particular interest in helping those who may struggle to meet the financial requirements of attending college.

“I attended school on a for-need, $500 scholarship for three years during my time in a diploma nursing school,” she said. “With the help of the Air Force, I earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing at Loretto Heights College in Denver. I understand what many students go through. I had a great career in the nursing field, and I want to lend a hand to others who have the passion for helping those in need.”

When asked why she decided to give to a school that was not her alma mater, Ellen Brown had a simple answer. “First, my schools don’t exist anymore,” she said. “Secondly, the University of Arkansas is the school that’s here. We chose to live near my husband’s alma mater after he retired. We are in Arkansas now and I am going to need medical care at some point. So, I think it is best to keep our support here and to help to develop the program that will graduate my future caretakers.”

“The Browns have been so generous,” said Reed Greenwood, dean of the College of Education and Health Professions. “We are fortunate to attract top students for our nursing program, and many rely on scholarship support to stay enrolled. This Access Arkansas scholarship will create funding for one or more of our students who deserve support to complete their studies in nursing. I am grateful for this support and for the commitment Guy and Ellen Brown have shown to our program. I look forward to watching their gift change lives.”

The Browns attended the college’s nursing school pinning ceremony in December of last year. Their scholarship recipients were completing the program, and it was then that they realized the true impact of their gift. When one student accepted her pin, Ellen sighed, “That’s our girl,” and the student’s husband happened to be sitting in front of the Browns. He turned around and asked if they were the people who helped his wife complete her education.

“It was the most honest, sincere appreciation you could ever ask for,” Ellen said. “That’s what it’s all about. It’s the circle of life and you have to give back.”

Last year, the University of Arkansas launched Access Arkansas, a program committed to raising money for need-based scholarship support, particularly for undergraduate students. The program was approved in the fall of 2006 by the university’s Board of Advisors, an organization that helps guide the institution’s advancement and fundraising efforts. The overall goal for the program is $15 million over five years

Contact:

Danielle Strickland, manager of development communications
Office of university relations
(479) 575-7346, strick@uark.edu

Heidi Stambuck, communications director
College of Education and Health Professions
(479) 575-3138, stambuck@uark.edu

 

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