Application Open for New Scholarships for Students in Online Degree Programs

William E. Manning
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William E. Manning

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Students in online degree programs at the University of Arkansas can apply now for the new W.E. Manning Memorial Scholarship to be awarded by the Global Campus in fall 2018.

Up to four undergraduate and graduate students studying at six U of A colleges can benefit. The application is available on the University of Arkanas ONLINE website, which promotes the 30 online degree programs offered by U of A colleges.

Manning’s colleagues established the scholarship fund to honor William E. Manning, a passionate educator and lifelong learner who died in 1993. Manning joined the U of A in 1975 and for 19 years led independent study, then called correspondence programs, the forerunner of today’s Self-Paced Online Courses.

The Global Campus recently added to the Manning scholarship fund, making it possible to offer up to four $2,000 scholarships for the first time in fall 2018.

“Students seek online programs and courses to help them overcome the barriers of time, distance and life demands,” said Donald Judges, vice provost for distance education. “The W.E. Manning Memorial Scholarship will lift another barrier – cost.”

Students can apply for the scholarship if they are enrolled in online degree programs from the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences; the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences; the Sam M. Walton College of Business; the College of Education and Health Professions; the College of Engineering; and the School of Law.

Scholarship process

To apply, undergraduate or graduate students studying in online degree programs must complete an online application and essay by June 15. Students must demonstrate financial need, academic merit or significant community service.

The Global Campus Scholarship Committee will give preference to Arkansas residents and first-generation higher education students. For the purpose of this scholarship, a student will be defined as a first-generation student if neither parent earned a higher education degree.

The U of A Academic Scholarship Office will announce the awards about 45 days after the June 15 deadline. Scholarships will apply to tuition and fees for the fall 2018 and spring 2019 semesters.

William E. Manning

Manning joined the U of A Division of Continuing Education, now the Global Campus, in 1975 and served students and the institution for 19 years.

At the time of his death in November 1993, Manning, 51, was Director of Credit Studies, an office that now facilitates U of A Self-Paced Online Courses. Manning also held leadership positions in the National University Continuing Education Association and the American Association of Colleges and Independent Studies.

“He had a passion for serving students, and a passion for continuing his own education,” Judges said. “For him, it wasn’t about the degree, it was about the learning.”

Manning completed all course and examination requirements for a doctorate in English at the U of A before deciding to focus on graduate studies more directly aligned with his professional position. He was close to completing a doctorate in Adult Education at the time of his death. In May 2018, the U of A will award to Manning a posthumous Doctor of Education in Adult Education.

Donnie Dutton, former dean of the Global Campus and Manning’s supervisor, spoke at Manning’s memorial service and was quoted in a 1994 article published in The Study Guide by the American Association for Collegiate Independent Study.

“Bill was a giver,” Dutton said. “He gave of himself freely and openly without expecting anything in return.”

The work Manning, Dutton and others did in the 1980s and 1990s set the foundation for what has become the Global Campus, a service unit dedicated to helping academic colleges develop and deliver high-quality online education and workforce development programs.


A University of Arkansas education transforms lives, but time, distance and life demands can derail a person’s goals. Online education helps overcome those barriers, and donors to the Manning scholarship fund can lift another barrier – cost. Gifts can be made through the U of A’s Online Giving site.

About the Global Campus: The Global Campus supports U of A colleges and schools in the development and delivery of online, distance and workforce education programs and courses. It provides instructional design services, technology services and assistance with marketing, recruiting and strategic academic development.

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.


Kay Murphy, director of communications
Global Campus


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