Alumni and Faculty to Be Honored at Alumni Awards Celebration

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas Alumni Association will host its 75th annual Alumni Awards Celebration at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, at the Fayetteville Town Center. During this annual awards ceremony, the association recognizes those individuals who continue to bring national and local prominence to the University of Arkansas and the Arkansas Alumni Association through their research, exemplary public and community service, and valued leadership.

This year’s celebration will honor the accomplishments of 11 alumni, faculty and friends and includes recipients in seven awards categories.

Citation of Distinguished Alumni

The Citation of Distinguished Alumni recognizes exceptional professional and personal achievement and extraordinary distinction in a chosen field. The 2019 awardees are:

  • Hayden McIlroy, B.S.B.A. ’62, chair of the board and chief executive officer of HM Investments.
  • Emma Kelly Rhodes, Ed.S. ’84, Ed.D. ’87, director of the Emma Kelly Rhodes Education Center.
  • Bill Underwood, B.S.B.A. ’61, chair of Underwood’s Fine Jewelers.

Andrew J. Lucas Alumni Service Award

The Andrew J. Lucas Alumni Service Award acknowledges significant contributions of time and energy on behalf of the university and the Alumni Association. The awardee is Steve L. Nipper, B.S.B.A. ’71, M.B.A. ’73, president (retired) of BancorpSouth.

Community Service Award

The Community Service Award recognizes unselfish and extensive service by alumni to their community and to humankind. The awardee is Stephanie Streett, B.A. ’91, executive director of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

Young Alumni Award

The Young Alumni Award recognizes exceptional achievements in career, public service and/or volunteer activities that bring honor to the University of Arkansas. The honoree for 2019 is Ebony Wyatt, B.S.B.A. ’03, director of sales for Walmart at General Mills.

Honorary Alumni Award

The Honorary Alumni Award is presented to non-alumni who have served, promoted, developed and loved the University of Arkansas in the tradition of an Arkansas graduate. This year the association pays tribute to Cynthia Nance, the Nathan G. Gordon Professor of Law and dean emeritus, University of Arkansas School of Law.

Faculty Distinguished Achievement Awards

The Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award recognizes exceptional faculty members for teaching, research and service.

  • For achievement in service, the association honors Peggy Schaefer Whitby, associate professor of special education, in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction of the College of Education and Health Professions.  
  • For achievement in research, the awardee is John Reuben Clark, Ph.D. ’83, Distinguished Professor of horticulture in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.
  • The rising teaching award will be bestowed upon Anne Velliquette, Ph.D. ’00, assistant professor of marketing in the Sam M. Walton College of Business.

Charles and Nadine Baum Faculty Teaching Award

The Charles and Nadine Baum Faculty Teaching Award recognizes outstanding teaching and is designated for a faculty member whose status is professor, University Professor or Distinguished Professor. The 2019 awardee is the Honorable Howard W. Brill, University Professor and Vincent Foster Professor of Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility at the University of Arkansas School of Law.


Three additional awardees will be recognized at the banquet. Originally presented at the Alumni Leaders Summit in March, the Arkansas Alumni Volunteer Awards honor individuals and alumni groups that exemplify the spirit of the University of Arkansas and work to advance the mission of the Arkansas Alumni Association and the university.

  • Oliver Simms III, B.S.B.A. ’85, received the Morris Fair Heart Award for his dedication and leadership with the Black Alumni Society.
  • The Austin Alumni Chapter received the Board Cup, which recognizes overall excellence by an alumni group.
  • The PRIDE Alumni Society received the Mace Award for their signature event, the PRIDE Drag Brunch.

General registration for the 2019 Alumni Awards Celebration is available now; see for more information. Tables and sponsorships are available. For more information on tickets and sponsorships, contact Deb Euculano at or call 479-575-2292.

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 fewer than 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.


Deb Euculano, senior associate director of alumni special events
Arkansas Alumni Association

Catherine Baltz, assistant director of communications
Arkansas Alumni Association


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