Beavers Advance Arkansas Scholarship Is a Blueprint for Student Success

Bob and Virginia Beavers
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Bob and Virginia Beavers

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas alumna Beth Beavers Prescott remembers the smell of blueprints in her father’s office.

“My dad was an architecture guy,” she said.

Prescott and her husband, Hal, are honoring her father’s career in architecture, his impact on Eastern Arkansas and his love for the U of A with a $50,000 gift to create the Bob J. and Virginia Beavers Advance Arkansas Endowed Scholarship. Named after Beth Prescott’s parents, the scholarship is intended for high school graduates from St. Francis County and the Arkansas Delta.

Their gift counts as part of Campaign Arkansas, the university’s $1.25 billion capital campaign, and will enhance student success for Arkansans.

Bob J. Beavers started his journey at Little Rock Junior College (now the University of Arkansas–Little Rock) before marrying Prescott’s mother, Virginia, and transferring to the U of A. As a student in the then-School of Architecture, Beavers studied under Fay Jones and John G. Williams, whom Beavers referred to as “Teach.” Virginia, a graduate of Little Rock Junior College, worked for Washington Regional Hospital and Dr. James Mashburn in Fayetteville to put her husband through architecture school. Bob and Virginia were high school sweethearts and were married for more than 60 years before passing away in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

From an early age, Prescott remembers her father’s love for the University of Arkansas and his commitment to supporting the Razorbacks.

“I attended my first football game at three months old,” Prescott said. “Daddy was serious about attending games.”

Prescott attended Hendrix College for her undergraduate degree and came to the U of A for law school. Her brother, Brad, also received his undergraduate and law degrees from the university.

“Daddy wanted both his kids to have their names on Senior Walk,” she said. “The university was always incredibly important to him.”

Bob J. Beavers enjoyed a successful career in architecture and settled in Forrest City, where his children grew up. He worked extensively with Cromwell Architects and opened the firm’s East Arkansas branch in 1963. In 1980, he was named president of the firm’s Memphis branch, which was later sold and renamed Beavers Smith Langford Mundinger, or BSLM. He retired from the firm in 1997 and formed Bob J. Beavers AIA Inc. three days later.

“My father had a way about him that helped him understand people,” Prescott said. “He could take their thoughts and create a building with them. He believed in service.”

Beavers designed and built many schools, health departments, churches, courthouses, banks, hospitals, residences and more in Eastern Arkansas. Because of this, Prescott and her husband felt compelled to support students who are high school graduates from St. Francis County and the Arkansas Delta with the scholarship named in her parents’ honor.

“We structured the scholarship toward Eastern Arkansas, because he touched so much of that area,” Prescott said. “You couldn’t drive through without seeing something he did.”

Similarly, the Prescotts chose to support the Advance Arkansas scholarship initiative because of Beth’s father’s experience as a college student.

“I grew up hearing how hard it was for them to get through school,” Beth Prescott said. “My mother wanted my brother and me to get an education and turn around and give back to help someone who didn’t have the same opportunity. Hal and I started learning about how scholarships work and how important they are to a student’s success, and it became important to us to help a student who can see the dream and vision for their future.”

The Bob J. and Virginia Beavers Advance Arkansas Endowed Scholarship will support new students from Arkansas who exhibit financial need. First preference will be given to students enrolling in the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design.

“I was fortunate to be able to induct Bob Beavers into the Fay Jones School’s John G. Williams Fellowship before he passed away,” said Dean Peter MacKeith. “It is not surprising but always very touching to learn of the passion for architecture that professor Williams inspired in his students – and Bob Beavers was no exception. On behalf of the school, I am very grateful to Beth and Hal for their generous gift, knowing how much it will be appreciated by a deserving first-generation Advance Arkansas student.” 

“My Mama and Daddy were wonderful people,” Prescott said. “This is a meaningful way to keep their memory alive. My Daddy couldn’t have done what he did in life without my mother, so I knew her name needed to be included as well. You can’t find success without a village, and my mom was his village.”

Hal and Beth Prescott are life members of the Arkansas Alumni Association, where Hal Prescott serves as director of finance. Beth Prescott is a 1986 graduate of the School of Law and is a budget coordinator for the United States Postal Service. They are counted as Thoroughreds for their consecutive giving to the University of Arkansas.

About Campaign Arkansas: Campaign Arkansas is the ongoing capital campaign for the University of Arkansas to raise private gift support for the university’s academic mission and other key priorities. The campaign’s goal is to raise $1.25 billion to support academic and need-based scholarships, technology enhancements, new and renovated facilities, undergraduate, graduate and faculty research, study abroad opportunities and other innovative programs. The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in a wide spectrum of disciplines as it works to fulfill its public land-grant mission to serve Arkansas and beyond as a partner, resource and catalyst.

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.

Contacts

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

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