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School of Mass Communication


Scholarship Fundraiser Resounding Success

For most people, celebrating a birthday means receiving gifts. But for UALR alumnus Travis “Tre’ Day” Rowan of Power 92 Jams, celebrating his birthday has become about giving back to his alma mater.

TREDAY.jpgRowan raised more than $3,000 this past July at his Celebrity Birthday Bowling Bash, money that will go to fund his scholarship project. The scholarships are for high school seniors planning to major in mass communications at UALR and will be awarded this year through a contest where applicants will be asked to submit a news story in either radio, television or newspaper format about the impact of the Central High School desegregation crisis of 1957.

The bowling event drew 186 bowlers on 16 teams, each of which were captained by celebrities including UALR’s own Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers, former Razorback Joe Johnson of the Phoenix Suns, Olympic gold medalist and professional boxer Jermaine Taylor and bowling legend Pete Weber.

“I never thought it would get to the level it has,” Rowan said. “It started out with just me and a few friends getting together to bowl. We’d do birthday parties and I’d give the money to certain organizations. This year, I felt like I had enough connections to something to give back. I came up with the bowling idea because my mother and I bowl in a league on the weekends. I figured everyone has bowled at least some time in their life.”

Rowan said his mother contributed, in addition to his love for bowling, the idea for a silent auction that was held during the event and accounted for about half of the money raised. Rowan said his original goal was to raise $2,000 in order to offer a $1,000 scholarship and cover the event’s expenses, but after the success of July’s event, he can now offer first, second and third place scholarships.

This year will be the first for the scholarship on a statewide level. It is also open to current UALR students, although preference will be given to high school seniors. The winner will receive $1,000, with second and third place receiving $500 each. One of the judges for this year’s contest will be Minniejean Brown-Trickey, who was one of the famed Little Rock nine, the first group of black students to attend Central High.

Rowan graduated summa cum laude from UALR in 2000 with a degree in Radio, Television and Film. He has worked for Power 92 since 1996, where he started as an intern.

Special Thanks

The School of Mass Communication is pleased to announce the establishment of two new School scholarships. Jason Irby, journalism alumnus, gifted the Jason Irby scholarship to be awarded to a full-time summer graduate student pursing a Master of Arts in print or broadcast journalism.

Tammy Hamilton-Varnell, former SMC staff member, established the Robert Hamilton Memorial Scholarship for junior and senior level single parent students majoring in Journalism or Radio, Television, and Film. Both scholarships are based on student academic accomplishment and financial need.

School of Mass Communication Endowments:

The David M. Guerra Endowed Technology Fund provides funds for the purchase of software, hardware and other equipment and instructional tools for the School of Mass Communication in the College of Professional Studies at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

The Charles and Jamie M. Byrne Faculty Travel Fund provides funds for faculty travel to presentations, training or attendance at conferences which benefit the faculty member and the School of Mass Communication.
Campus Campaign

The UALR Campus Campaign challenges the campus community to invest in the future of the University by encouraging employee giving to various departments, programs, or projects. Last year’s campaign received an overwhelming response and this year’s campaign promises to be even greater.

In the School of Mass Communication, faculty and staff have more than a 90 percent participation rate in the campaign. It’s exciting to know that we are investing in our future and the future of the School. It also sends a resounding message to those who seek to give to our programs that we believe in the School of Mass Communication’s mission and the future of our students.

School of Mass Communication Gifting

You can make a difference in the future of mass media students. The University has a variety of ways to give to the School of Mass Communication. If you would like to donate to the School of Mass Communication simply go to the Office of Development web site below, and select the “Give Online” button. In the gift form select the “opt to specifically designate your gift” option box and key in ” School of Mass Communication.”

Your gifts make it possible for mass communication students to learn the latest media technologies. They can also create scholarship and support student activities. Make a difference by giving SMC students the very best educational experience and professional development opportunities through your gift. Thank you for your investment in the future of our students and Arkansas’ future media professionals.

For more information about gifting opportunities please contact UALR’s Office of Development.

Updated 1.22.2007