The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has received a $21,000 gift to provide student scholarships in honor of the late John Boyeskie, a 1999 graduate of UA Little Rock.
Ron Boyeskie, vice president of CBM Construction Company, Inc. and his wife, the late Connie Boyeskie, former general manager at ASCO Hardware who passed away in January, made the donation to provide scholarships for criminal justice students in honor of Ron Boyeskie’s late brother, John.
“The reason Connie and I wanted to do this is to provide a legacy for John,” Ron Boyeskie said. “He had such a passion for criminal justice and UA Little Rock. The Criminal Justice Department is where John really connected with people later in life. He bonded with the professors, and they challenged him.”
In 2003, the Boyeskies established the John A. Boyeskie Memorial Scholarship in honor of John, who passed away in 2002 at age 54, with a $15,000 donation. The new gift raises the scholarship endowment to $50,000.
“Ron and his late wife Connie have made such a wonderful gift to the Department of Criminal Justice and our students,” said Dr. Julien Mirivel, interim dean of the College of Social Sciences and Communication. “Their gift is especially meaningful because it is designed to support our graduate students and provide the right financial support to help those students be successful. With their additional gift, Ron and Connie have created a legacy of influence and a shining memory of John, which will live on in every student awarded a scholarship in his name.”
John Boyeskie returned to school in 1997 after selling his business to take on a new challenge in life. He graduated from UA Little Rock with a master’s degree in criminal justice.
“John was always very disciplined, an avid reader, and a genius,” Ron Boyeskie said. “He had a burning desire for more knowledge. He found a place to call home in the UA Little Rock Criminal Justice Department. He dearly enjoyed his time here because he was challenged and enjoyed relationships with the professors. My wife and I started the scholarship with the intention of helping students follow their dreams in criminal justice.”
Dr. Mary Parker, chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, remembers John Boyeskie as a very intelligent student who challenged the status quo.
“John was one of the most challenging students I ever had in the classroom – in the best way possible,” Parker said. “He forced you to question your own perspective on issues and topics while you were forcing him to question his perspective. He had no tolerance for the status quo. Through his unique way of making us dig deeper, he made us all better students, faculty, and human beings.”
While pursuing their undergraduate degrees at what is now the University of Central Arkansas, the Boyeskie brothers roomed together and worked multiple jobs to pay for their college education. Ron Boyeskie hopes that this gift will make it easier for working adults to earn their college degree.
“John was my baby brother, and he left the world too soon,” Ron Boyeskie said. “I wanted everyone to know who he is and have a scholarship to champion his name. It’s something that Connie and I wanted to do in his memory. Last year, Connie and I started talking about what an additional donation could provide. This scholarship is giving someone an opportunity, especially upperclassman students who are working and struggling to get a degree. John and I both did the same thing when we were getting our undergraduate degrees. This is an opportunity to give back.”