UA Little Rock Professor Creates Scholarship that Honors Son’s Legacy

Dr. Carol Thompson, a long-time faculty member in UA Little Rock’s Department of Applied Communication, has established a scholarship that will help students pursuing a degree or continuing their education in the Department of Applied Communication.

Thompson established the scholarship in memory of her son, Lance. The Lance Thompson Memorial Endowed Scholarship will be awarded beginning in fall 2019 to a full- or part-time student majoring in applied communication in the College of Social Sciences and Communication. The scholarship, to be endowed via planned gift, will provide assistance for education-related expenses, including tuition, books, fees, and room and board.

“Scholarships are crucial for our students’ academic and professional success. Dr. Thompson’s endowed scholarship is a gift that will make a real impact on students’ lives,” said Dr. Julien Mirivel, interim dean and professor of applied communication in the College of Social Sciences and Communication. “We look forward to honoring the very first recipient of her scholarship at our CSSC Awards Ceremony in Spring 2019. I am grateful to Dr. Thompson for her gift and the many contributions she has made to our students and our campus.”

Academic accomplishments will be considered in the awarding of the scholarship, and preference will be given to students with an interest in the visual, literary, and performing arts.

Lance Eric Thompson was a lifelong artist, who at age 6 began designing basic computer games and by junior high wrote grading programs for his teachers. He later moved to Memphis and became part of an artistic group known as Superman Damn Fool, which painted huge canvases with nontraditional materials such as house paint, blended with other mediums. Thompson’s individual works were all sold to collectors in the area. He attended the Art Institute of Phoenix, Arizona, where he majored in animation and computer graphics. He got a job as a computer analyst for FedEx corporation in Memphis.

Carol Thompson said her son learned to combine his proficiency with art with his proficiency with computers and was aiming for a career at FedEx before he succumbed to cancer in 2018.

After one successful training session he said, “Even if you have all the talent and intelligence in the world, it doesn’t help if you can’t communicate with an audience,” Carol Thompson said.

The scholarship will be awarded at the end of each spring term for use in the following academic year. As the endowment grows, multiple awards may be possible. Anyone wishing to contribute to the endowment may do so online.

Students interested in applying for this scholarship should use the Trojan SMART application and write a paragraph about their view of communication in relation to ethics and the arts (visual, literary, or performing).

Lance Eric Thompson is pictured with his son. Photo courtesy of the Thompson family

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