After earning graduate degrees while working full time, a Conway couple has made a generous donation to support part-time graduate students at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Chris and Carrie Phillips of Conway donated $25,000 to create the Carrie and Chris Phillips Endowed Graduate Scholarship, which will provide assistance for education-related expenses for part-time graduate students including tuition, books, fees, and room and board. Recipients will be selected based on financial need and/or merit.
Dr. Carrie Phillips serves as the chief communications and marketing officer at UA Little Rock, and her husband Chris Phillips is a 2017 graduate of UA Little Rock with an MBA and a lifetime member of the UA Little Rock Alumni Association. The Phillips both earned graduate degrees as part-time students while working full-time jobs and felt it was important to provide a scholarship opportunity for working graduate students.
“UA Little Rock has provided both of us with tremendous opportunities,” they said. “At various points in our lives, we were both in graduate school and relied on the generosity of others to help support those endeavors. To us, this is an opportunity to pay it forward to help the next generation of students looking to better themselves with an advanced degree.”
During his time as a graduate student at UA Little Rock, Chris Phillips saw the need for more scholarships to support graduate students. He worked on his graduate degree in the evenings while working a full-time job. As a part-time student, Chris Phillips was not eligible for many scholarships.
“The scholarship will provide much-needed resources to other graduate students who are working to improve their career outlooks by obtaining an advanced degree,” he said.
As a recent doctoral student, Carrie Phillips benefitted from several scholarships for part-time graduate students that allowed her to pursue her doctorate degree while being employed. She sees the scholarship as a way to pay forward the scholarships she received and help others who are trying to advance their lives with graduate degrees.
“I learned the importance of education at a young age,” she said. “My late father and I both had university careers and regularly saw the transformative power of higher education.”