UAPB to Receive Blue Cross Blue Shield Gift for First Endowed Professorship

Nursing Department Chair to be Inaugural Beneficiary

On Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield will present a $250,000 gift to create the Endowed Nursing Professorship in Rural Health. The presentation will take place at Caine-Gilleland Hall.
“We are grateful to Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield for recognizing our university’s role in producing qualified nurses for the state of Arkansas,” said Dr. Laurence B. Alexander, Chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
“Through this gift, we are able to attract highly sought after faculty to add to our already strong roster of instructors.”
UAPB received initial approval status for its Pre-Licensure (Generic) Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) program from the Arkansas State Board of Nursing in July. Students admitted to the pre-licensure program and who successfully complete all required coursework and program requirements will be eligible to apply to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Students who pass the NCLEX-RN will be licensed to practice as a registered nurse.
Diann Williams, Chair of the Department of Nursing will be the first to receive an endowed professorship at UAPB. Williams, who is a registered nurse, obtained a Master’s of Science in Nursing from St. Louis University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. She served as interim executive director of the Arkansas State Board of Nursing in 1995 and was the previous vice president for assessment and nursing and allied health at Southeast Arkansas College.
“There is no person more fitting for this first endowed professorship award than someone of Mrs. Williams’ stature and accomplishment,” Dr. Alexander said.
“She has a stellar background and has earned the respect of the rural nursing community.”
This endowment and the addition of the BSN are only two of the many academic enhancements UAPB has made within the last year. Others include the opening of the STEM Building and Conference Center, a new Fitness Center, expansion of the Summer Learning Institute and Opportunities for New Students (LIONS) Program, as well as the enhanced reimaging and marketing activity.
For more information about the newly established endowed professorship, the nursing program or for media inquiries, please call Stephanie Jackson at 501.492.4900 or email
About the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) is an 1890 Land-Grant HBCU with a diverse student population, competitive degree offerings and stellar faculty. For more than 140 years, UAPB has worked to create an environment that inculcates learning, growth and productivity while affording a basic need to its students – a chance to advance. UAPB offers Certificate and Associates degree programs, more than thirty Undergraduate programs, Master’s degree programs and a Doctorate program in Aquaculture/Fisheries. Students are active in more than 100 organizations, an internationally renowned Vesper Choir, Marching Band, Concert Bands, Wind Symphony, nationally recognized debate team, award-winning theater department and accomplished athletic program. UAPB has an extended campus in North Little Rock and offers courses in Gould and Marianna as well as online courses. With the addition of the Arkansas Research and Education Optical Network (ARE-ON), students can engage in information exchange with others anywhere in the world.

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