Former U.S. Senator Mark Pryor to Receive Honorary Degree

Senator Mark Pryor
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Senator Mark Pryor

The University of Arkansas will award an honorary degree to former U.S. Senator, the Honorable Mark Pryor during its spring university commencement ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, May 11, in Bud Walton Arena.

Sen. Pryor is an alumnus of the U of A who earned a bachelor's degree in history in 1985 and Juris Doctor from the School of Law in 1988.

He served the state of Arkansas and nation for more than 18 years as a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives, Arkansas attorney general and U.S. senator for Arkansas. Currently, Pryor is a shareholder for Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, in Washington D.C., and his law practice focuses on government relations.  

Pryor began his career working in private practice before he was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 1990. He was elected attorney general of Arkansas in 1998, and he was elected as a U.S. senator for Arkansas in 2002, serving two consecutive terms.

As a U.S. senator, he gained a strong reputation for working with both Republicans and Democrats and finding bipartisan solutions that would benefit Arkansans. Pryor worked tirelessly to pass legislation to protect children, support military families and provide funding for agricultural programs in Arkansas. 

During his career in public service, Pryor made significant contributions in education for Arkansas and the U of A. He supported education legislation and helped secure federal grants that helped advance the U of A's research and land-grant mission.

With Pryor's support, the university received a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the Department of Psychological Science in 2010, a grant from the National Science Foundation in 2010 to maximize efficiency in distribution and shipping centers, a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to create the Maritime Transportation Research Center in 2013 and a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to support the World Trade Center Arkansas, a U of A affiliate, in 2014, among many others.

In 2017 and 2018, Pryor served on the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, a global educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided scholarships to more than 400,000 students, teachers, artists and scientists in the U.S. and 160 countries, including more than 100 U of A students and alumni.

Pryor's dedication to the U of A, the state of Arkansas and the country is a continuation of his family's legacy. He is the son of the late David Pryor, former U.S. senator and Arkansas governor. David Pryor and his wife, Barbara, helped establish the David and Barbara Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History for the U of A campus.

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 and Economic Development News.

Contacts

John Thomas, director of media relations
University Relations
479-575-7430, jfthomas@uark.edu

Lyndsay Bradshaw, assistant director of executive communications
University Relations
479-575-5260, lbrads@uark.edu

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