Advance Arkansas Scholarship Created for Lincoln, Jefferson County Students
Erik and Brandy Tuft of Rogers have created a new Advance Arkansas scholarship for U of A students from Lincoln and Jefferson Counties
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas alumni Erik and Brandy Tuft of Rogers have created a new Advance Arkansas scholarship for U of A students from Lincoln and Jefferson Counties in Arkansas. The Erik and Brandy Tuft Advance Arkansas Endowed Scholarship will be funded through a $25,000 gift from the couple and a $25,000 match from The Ernst & Young Foundation.
The commitment supports Campaign Arkansas, the $1.25 billion capital campaign to advance academic opportunity at the university.
“This generous gift from Erik and Brandy Tuft will help students from southeastern Arkansas who might otherwise not have the opportunity to attend the university,” said Matt Waller, dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business and holder of the Sam Walton Leadership Chair. “Thanks to the Tufts, more Arkansas students will be set up for success in college and in life.”
Growing up in Star City and later Pine Bluff, Brandy dreamed of going to the University of Arkansas but knew finances would determine her future. When she received a scholarship to the U of A, she says she never looked back. At the university, she embraced college life and enjoyed her experience.
“No one in my family had been able to attend college, much less earn a degree,” she said. “My mother was adamant that I would go to college after high school, but my family didn’t have the money to pay for college. My scholarships were a lifeline.”
Erik Tuft grew up in Rogers and loved the Razorbacks. He, too, always wanted to attend the U of A.
“When it came time to make a decision about where to attend college, the choice was simple,” he said. “I have always loved Fayetteville and after walking the campus, I knew the University of Arkansas was the place for me.”
The Tufts met at the U of A and both graduated from the Sam M. Walton College of Business. Erik is a retirement plan advisor with Arvest Wealth Management, and Brandy is a senior manager of assurance services with Ernst & Young.
“Erik and I both have a passion for education,” Brandy said. “We truly believe that the more educated someone is, the better he or she can impact the world around them. Without our education from the U of A, we wouldn’t be where we are today, and because of that, we believe it is a duty to give back to the next generation – especially to those students who don’t have the means to pay for it themselves. We want to give other students a lifeline to education and freedom.”
The Erik and Brandy Tuft Advance Arkansas Endowed Scholarship will support new, returning and transfer students to the U of A who exhibit financial need, records of academic success and a strong desire to complete their degree at the university. Preference will be given to students from Lincoln and Jefferson counties in Arkansas.
“I loved the idea of designating this scholarship to a student who comes from one of the two places I called home growing up,” Brandy Tuft said. “It was important to me personally, as there are more students who have greater needs in these areas.”
Erik and Brandy Tuft are life members of the Arkansas Alumni Association and are included in the Towers of Old Main, a giving society for the university’s most generous benefactors. They are also counted as Thoroughreds for their nine years of 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 2.7 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
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