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Marlon Blackwell and his wife, Ati, have pledged $120,000 to create an Advance Arkansas scholarship benefiting Fay Jones School of Architecture & Design students from the Arkansas Delta.
Marlon Blackwell is a University of Arkansas distinguished professor. Both Blackwells are co-principals of Marlon Blackwell Architects in Fayetteville.
The couple’s commitment includes an annual gift, so scholarship awards can be made available starting with the 2021-22 academic year.
Their pledge was also counted in Campaign Arkansas, the university’s recently concluded capital campaign that raised nearly $1.45 billion.
“I haven’t traditionally seen many students from the Delta studying architecture, so Ati and I asked ourselves how we could be more proactive in developing opportunities for diverse students to come to the U of A,” Marlon Blackwell said in a news release. “This scholarship is about providing opportunity and possibility. Education helps break the cycle of economic inequities and expands economic opportunity, and we’re hopeful that this scholarship provides an incentive for more students from the Delta to study the disciplines of architecture.”
The Marlon and Ati Blackwell Advance Arkansas Endowed Scholarship will support new, returning and transfer students from Arkansas who exhibit financial need, records of academic success and a strong desire to complete their degree at the Fay Jones School.
Preference will be given to students who are graduates of a high school located in the Arkansas Delta, including high schools in the following counties: Chicot, Clay, Craighead, Crittendon, Cross, Desha, Greene, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lee, Lincoln, Lonoke, Mississippi, Monroe, Phillips, Poinsett, Pulaski, Prairie, Randolph, White and Woodruff.
Students majoring in architecture, landscape architecture and interior design who are enrolled full time in either one of the professional programs or four-year architectural or landscape architectural studies program are eligible.