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Day’s Donation to Provide Scholarships for Master of Public Administration Students at UA Little Rock

Bryan Day
Bryan Day

A University of Arkansas at Little Rock alumnus who said he owes the success of his career to the education he received at UA Little Rock is giving back by creating an endowed scholarship for Master of Public Administration (MPA) students.

Bryan Day, executive director of Port of Little Rock, has made a planned gift, estimated to be worth $150,000, to create the Bryan M. Day Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship will provide assistance for education-related expenses, such as tuition, books, fees, and room and board, for students in the MPA program.

In addition to his planned gift, Day has made another $5,000 donation that will provide a $1,000 scholarship to an MPA student for the next five years.

“I have been very blessed in my career,” Day said. “One of the fundamental reasons I have been so successful is because of the education I received at UA Little Rock. Both my undergraduate and graduate programs were exactly what I needed at the time and helped further my career. My hope is that students down the road will have the same experiences I had – a good career in local government and the ability to give back to their community.”

Day is a leader who has worked in state and local government for 35 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 1986 and a Master of Public Administration degree in 1994 from UA Little Rock. This year he earned a certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education program.

He spent 20 years working for the City of Little Rock, including roles as the assistant city manager and director of Little Rock Parks and Recreation. He was appointed executive director of the Port of Little Rock in 2014, where he works closely with industries located in the 4,000-acre industrial park. He oversees the Port Authority Railroad, which is served by the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Railroads, as well as the industrial and slackwater harbors.

“At the end of the day, I am simply an economic developer trying to sell the value of Little Rock to the world so that people will choose to locate their businesses here in our great community,” Day said.

At UA Little Rock Day, Day is an adjunct professor in the MPA program where he teaches a graduate course called Urban Management, a member of the UA Little Rock Heritage Society, and a former member of the UA Little Rock Alumni Board of Directors. He also serves as a member of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Transportation Advisory Council, the executive committee of the National Waterways Council, a charter member of the Arkansas State Parks and Recreation Foundation, and a board member of the Arkansas Oklahoma Port Operators Association.

“As a local government official, having a university in our town is a very valuable and very much appreciated asset,” Day said. “We support students, businesses, communities, and the local economy. I hope as the community continues to grow and evolve, that we as a community will have a better appreciation for everything UA Little Rock brings to Central Arkansas.”