Three New Scholarships Created in Memory of Architecture Alumnus

Jim Etter Parker
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Jim Etter Parker

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – An anonymous donor has committed $196,000 to create three scholarships in the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas. The gift counts toward Campaign Arkansas, the $1.25 billion capital campaign to advance academic opportunity at the university. The scholarships will support students with financial need who are pursuing a degree from the Fay Jones School.

The three scholarships are named in memory of Jim Etter Parker, a 1981 graduate of the Fay Jones School, who passed away in 2018. Parker, originally from Missouri, designed multi-family units and commercial structures through his company, Parker Associates, which he founded in 1984. Parker Associates was based in Tulsa and was responsible for hundreds of projects across the country, including The Orion in St. Louis; West Side Heights in Atlanta; The Claremont in Kansas City, Kansas; West Chase in Houston; and Rocky Point in Tampa.

Bryan Hulst, one of Parker’s partners at Parker Associates, said, “He created so many different types of projects, ranging from single-family homes, bank branches, shopping centers, light office buildings and more. I thought of them as his ‘weekend’ projects, because I felt like he did them for entertainment and was so good and efficient that he could create and produce a new project over a weekend.”

Parker, a member of the American Institute of Architects, had many fond memories of the U of A and enjoyed the projects and outreach associated with it. Throughout his career he kept in close contact with professors at the Fay Jones School and was a member of the school’s Dean’s Circle, the Chancellor’s Society and the Arkansas Alumni Association. Parker was also counted as a Thoroughred for his 14 years of consecutive giving to the university. He and his wife, Sharon, previously contributed to the Martha Dellinger Memorial Endowed Lecture in the Fay Jones School.

The donor making the contribution in Parker’s honor chose to establish scholarships to support students’ earnest academic endeavors and pay tribute to his Missouri roots and his fondness for Arkansas.

The Jim Etter Parker Endowed Freshman Recruiting and Retention Scholarship in Architecture will be funded with a $96,000 testamentary gift and will be awarded to full-time freshmen in the Fay Jones School who demonstrate financial need. Another $50,000 will establish the Jim Etter Parker Endowed Scholarship in Architecture and will specifically support students entering their third, fourth or fifth years of the architecture program. Both scholarships will give preference to students who are graduates of a high school in Missouri or Arkansas. Traditional and non-traditional students alike will be eligible.  

The Jim Etter Parker Advance Arkansas Scholarship was created with a $50,000 endowment to support students from Arkansas 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 enrolled in the Fay Jones School. One student will benefit annually, and the university will contribute matching funds to double the impact of the award.

“Jim Parker began a lifelong commitment to the Fay Jones School with his graduation in 1981,” said Peter MacKeith, dean of the school. “These student scholarships bearing his name now form a lasting legacy to the school, and to the next generation of architects, interior designers and landscape architects. We are grateful to Jim and Sharon Parker for their previous gifts to our lecture series, and we are just as grateful now to the benefactor honoring Jim with this combined gift. These scholarships will truly transform lives.”

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 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.


Jennifer Holland, director of development communications
University Relations


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