Prestigious Boyer Fellowship Increases Award

Mary Pham, a rising senior, is the 15th recipient of the Boyer Fellowship.
Photo by David Spear

Mary Pham, a rising senior, is the 15th recipient of the Boyer Fellowship.

The prestigious Boyer Fellowship is increasing its award to $20,500 annually, the largest honors fellowship annual award on the U of A campus. The fellowship is awarded to an incoming freshman honors student attending the Sam M. Walton College of Business.

“Walton College is so appreciative of the support from Tommy and Sylvia Boyer,” said Matthew A. Waller, dean of the Walton College. “Through their long-time generosity, a business honors student can focus on their education and continue on a high achieving path. It is truly life changing for students.”

Mary Pham, the current Boyer Fellowship recipient, is a rising senior and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in information systems. This summer, she is working at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati as an IT product manager intern on a project that deals with retail supply chain automation. The Conway native was awarded the fellowship in 2018.

“This fellowship changed my life for sure,” Pham said. “Besides the obvious financial support it has provided me, it has also given me confidence in school, peace of mind and connections to great people, including the Boyers themselves.”

Recipients of the fellowship must:

  • Pursue a business major at Walton College
  • Be enrolled at a high school in Arkansas
  • Display strong academic performance and curriculum
  • Demonstrate leadership and initiative
  • Demonstrate financial need

The minimum qualifications for fellowship consideration include:

  • 32 ACT (composite score on one exam) or 1430 SAT
  • 3.90 weighted high school GPA

“I recommend being yourself for the interview, and make sure you show your true personality and that you have the drive to exceed expectations in college,” Pham advises high school students applying for the award.

Tommy and Sylvia Boyer, both alumni of the U of A, established the Boyer Fellowship in 2000.

Tommy Boyer, B.S.B.A. ’64, was inducted into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame in 2013. He currently serves as a member of the U of A Board of Trustees. Boyer has served as chair of the Walton College Dean’s Executive Advisory Board, chair of the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame selection committee and was the college’s 2008 commencement speaker. Boyer was presiding co-chair of the U of A’s Campaign for the Twenty-First Century from 2000-2002.

Sylvia Boyer, B.S.E. ’63, was on the national board of directors for the Arkansas Alumni Association from 1988-1999, serving as its president in 1996-1997. She was the chair of the Alumni House Campaign and Renovation Project from 1996-1999 and also served with her husband on the Campaign Steering Committee and as the vice chair of that committee’s College/School/Unit and Regional Subcommittee.

Pham is the 15th recipient of the award.

“The Boyers are wonderful people, and a lot of people I know are honored to have known them,” Pham said. “I see them about twice a year since I've started college (mostly due to COVID restrictions and my busy schedule). They've been very encouraging about my career path and even told me when I got my first B that it made me look human on my resume!”

Applications for the 2023 Boyer Fellowship will be available soon. For more information about the award, visit the U of A’s Honors College Fellowships page.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the few U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.


Lori McLemore, marketing and communications officer
Sam M. Walton College of Business


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