UA Little Rock is starting a new scholarship to help students working to support themselves through college, thanks to the generosity of a family that is committed to supporting education.
Cyril Hollingsworth, a mediator, arbitrator, and trial lawyer with Wright, Lindsey & Jennings, has made a $50,000 donation to create the Hollingsworth-Hug Scholarship in memory of his mother, Beth Bevill Hollingsworth, and in honor of his wife, Betsy Hug Hollingsworth.
“It is with deep love and appreciation for both my mom and Betsy that this scholarship is created,” Hollingsworth said. “Education was so important to both of them.”
The scholarship will be provided to a part-time or full-time freshman, transfer, or continuing student at UA Little Rock. The scholarship will be based on financial need, and preference will be given to students who are working while attending college. The scholarship will provide assistance for education-related expenses, including tuition, books, fees, and room and board.
“UA Little Rock’s mission to provide an affordable and quality education for all our students is made possible through support from generous donors like Cyril Hollingsworth,” said Christian O’Neal, vice chancellor for university advancement. “His gift honors his family’s dedication to education and will help many hard-working students earn their college degree for years to come.”
Beth Bevill Hollingsworth was born and raised in Beebe, Arkansas. She graduated from the School of Nursing at Arkansas Baptist Hospital. She supported her sons following her divorce by continuing to work as a registered nurse. In pursuit of her dream to obtain a degree in nursing, she attended Little Rock Junior College, the initial precursor to UA Little Rock, while working as a nurse.
While she did not obtain a degree, those classes and days were special for her. She was honored to be awarded the bouquet of roses at the annual Donaghey Day luncheon as the student at Little Rock Junior College who best exemplified the traits of character of the late Mrs. George Donaghey, whose husband, Gov. Donaghey, named Little Rock Junior College as the only beneficiary of a trust in 1929 that provided much needed financial stability for the young college.
“The day and recognition were so meaningful to my mom, and it was consistent with the life she lived, reaching out to help others,” Hollingsworth said. “She always said that education is the one thing no one can take away from you. She sacrificed greatly to help my brother and me go to Southwestern at Memphis, now Rhodes College.”
Hollingsworth would go on to the small liberal arts college, and then with continuing support from his mother, to the University of Virginia School of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctor degree. Involved in his home community in many ways, including serving a term as a member of the City of Little Rock Board of Directors, Hollingsworth was reminded of the importance of student scholarships while volunteering with Rotary Club 99.
“When I was a member of Rotary Club 99, I served on the scholarship committee for several years, and we awarded scholarships for many UA Little Rock students,” he said. “Those students, most of whom were working, had so much appreciation for those scholarships. I think endowing a scholarship is an opportunity to help other people in a significant way.”
Betsy Hug Hollingsworth, a native of Fort Smith and a graduate of St. Anne’s Academy, worked half days, six days a week, while attending Westark Junior College, to pay for her college education, which she continued at Little Rock University, also a precursor to UA Little Rock. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree, leading to her becoming a medical technologist at St. Vincent Infirmary.
“Betsy is special beyond words to me, but she is special for others as well,” Hollingsworth said. “A true friend, always willing to help when asked, and the person with whom people, even strangers, instinctively share their thoughts, somehow knowing that she will be someone who really listens. I appreciate the opportunity to honor her and my mother and to support UA Little Rock’s continuing growth as a great metropolitan university.”
The left hand photo shows Betsy Hug Hollingsworth working as a medical technologist at St. Vincent Infirmary, while the right hand photo shows Beth Bevill Hollingsworth in her yearbook photo from Little Rock Junior College.