Pine Bluff, Ark- The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) Honors College has been named after its dean, Dr. Carolyn F. Blakely. During the annual Honors College banquet (May 4) for students graduating from the program, the 2010 graduating seniors announced that the administration had approved the renaming of the Honors College to “The Carolyn F. Blakely Honors College” in recognition of her commitment to providing special academic challenges to students capable of responding to such challenges.
During Chancellor Lawrence A. Davis, Jr.’s tenure as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, he requested Dr. Carolyn Blakely, then Professor of English, to spend a summer developing a proposal for an honors program at the University. Working closely with Dr. Floyd Goodwin, also a member of the English Department at that time, Dr. Blakely recruited about fifteen students who committed themselves to engaging in a program that required them to devote serious attention to pursuing academic excellence.
The program was visible and attracted more students. A small conference room was provided containing one computer, a limited library, and some music listening equipment. Included in those early students were Dr. Ruth Jones, a physicist who works for NASA and Dr. Antonie Rice, the current chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics at UAPB.
After Dr. Davis became Chancellor, he asked Dr. Blakely to develop an Honors College. Housed in a suite of offices in Dawson-Hicks Hall, the College now contains state-of-the-art computer equipment, appropriate study space and is now populated by one hundred fifty students. Honors College generates positive and challenging learning and cultural experiences for its students and provides opportunities for the students to attend professional meetings.
The Honors College is responsive to the mission of the University and the goals of instruction by encouraging courses that stimulate deeper intellectual growth and academic commitments. Students are challenged and nurtured through their interactions with similar students; through their study, research, and mentorships with distinguished faculty; and through cultural and intellectual opportunities designed to motivate them to perform at the highest level of excellence.
The success of the program over the years is evidenced by the facts that they maintain a grade point average of at least 3.25 or better to maintain eligibility for the program; they are accepted into graduate and professional schools; and the alumni roster reflects numerous careers, such as medical doctors, attorneys, educators, dentists, and physicists.
Dr. Blakely, a 1957 graduate of Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College (now UAPB) says that she is appreciative of the honor and recognition and remains committed to serving her students.