Fayetteville Couple Funds Fellowship for Graduate Students in Engineering

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas alumni Jim and Marsha Davis of Fayetteville have established a graduate student fellowship in the College of Engineering with a $150,000 gift.

The Jim and Marsha Davis Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Electrical Engineering will be awarded to a graduate student who assists the Department of Electrical Engineering’s undergraduate students in learning electrical engineering design.

“We want to do our part to help enhance and reinforce the 21st century vision for the future of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the U of A,” Jim Davis said. “Seeing the level of commitment to set even higher goals for the department motivated us to give back just a small portion of what the University of Arkansas gave to us. We hope our commitment might encourage other alumni to consider giving back to the university as well.”

Davis was born and raised in Prescott, and met his future wife, Marsha, when they were both undergraduate students at Henderson State University. Jim Davis graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant through the R.O.T.C. program. After serving two years as a commissioned officer on active duty in the U.S. Army, Davis received an honorable discharge. He then used the benefits of the G.I. Bill to attend the University of Arkansas.

Davis graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, while Marsha finished her Bachelor of Science in Education. Jim Davis enjoyed a successful career and was the inventor or co-inventor for six patents related to his work in the cellular telephone system industry. He is now the retired co-founder and vice president of operations for Celcore Inc.

“Over the course of my career, I had the opportunity to work with engineers from all over the world,” said Davis. “The knowledge I obtained while attending the U of A enabled me to gain the skills and confidence to work, design, create and help build a successful business. The electrical engineering department’s faculty and facilities have always been student-oriented. Marsha and I felt that made for a direct positive impact on my having had a successful career as an electrical engineer. The education I received at the University of Arkansas benefited us greatly.”

John English, dean of the College of Engineering, said, “Endowed fellowships are critical to our college’s ability to attract and retain the best graduate students for our programs. When it comes to recruiting students, we often face competition from other top-tier colleges and universities across the country, as well as private industry. Having a graduate fellowship such as this will allow us to remain competitive and support a worthy student who will advance the field of electrical engineering. We are very grateful to Jim and Marsha for giving back in a way that is meaningful to them.”

Davis received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Engineering in 2011. He and Marsha are life members of the Arkansas Alumni Association, and both of their children attended the university.

About the College of Engineering: The University of Arkansas College of Engineering is the only comprehensive doctoral-granting engineering program in the state of Arkansas. The college offers graduate and undergraduate degrees in nine engineering fields, as well as incorporating distance learning and interdisciplinary programs. Faculty in the College of Engineering conduct research in many key areas, including electronics, energy, healthcare logistics, nanotechnology, transportation and logistics.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Jennifer Holland, director of development communications
University Relations
479-575-7346, jholland@uark.edu

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