Cole Gift to Create Path Program Scholarship

Nick and Carolyn Cole.
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Nick and Carolyn Cole.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas undergraduate students involved in the Honors College Path Program will be eligible for a new scholarship, thanks to a Fayetteville couple.

Alumna Carolyn W. Cole and her husband, Nick, have pledged $250,000 to establish the Nick and Carolyn Cole Honors College Path Endowed Scholarship to benefit participants of the program who have a demonstrated financial need.

 “This is a marvelous gift for an important program,” said Chancellor G. David Gearhart. “Nick and Carolyn are champions of higher education, and their contributions to the university have supported an impressive array of interests. Their gift will provide the resources needed to further our goal of attracting and retaining high ability students through scholarship support, as well as aid in our diversity efforts.

“Both of these goals are important, because they not only help us achieve recognition as a top 50 public research university but will make a real difference in Arkansas for years to come,” he said.

The Path Program, developed by assistant dean Maribeth Lynes, is a new Honors College initiative that helps talented high school students from underrepresented populations become fully engaged and successful students at the university.

The Honors College recruiting team, led by Lynes, works with high school counselors throughout Arkansas to identify talented students, who must be nominated by a teacher or counselor to participate. Selected Path students are paired with peer and professional mentors who will help them explore opportunities to secure additional scholarships and grants to study abroad and conduct undergraduate research, to get involved in campus leadership, and to graduate with honors in their academic disciplines.

The Coles were inspired by an initial gift from Honors College Dean Bob McMath, and his wife, Linda, who have committed $100,000 in support of a Path Program scholarship. McMath, the inaugural dean of the college, is retiring in August.

 “All of us who are associated with launching the Path scholarship program are deeply grateful to Nick and Carolyn Cole for their generous contribution, McMath said. “Their gift will help provide access to the University of Arkansas and to the Path Program for generations of students who might not be able to attend without it.”

Nick and Carolyn Cole have a history of philanthropy at the university and are members of the Chancellor’s Society, Towers of Old Main and the Campaign Arkansas Steering Committee.

Their previous gifts to the university have supported the Carolyn Walton Endowed Fund in Creative Writing, the Carolyn F. Walton Graduate Fellowship in Creative Writing and the Jim and Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center, all in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. Carolyn Cole holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English from the Fulbright College and is a life member of the Arkansas Alumni Association and a member of the Women’s Giving Circle.


Jennifer Holland, senior director of marketing communications
University Relations


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