Dr. Alexis White and her husband, fellow Arkansas Tech University alumnus Hunter White, made a conscious decision as young professionals that giving back to ATU in memory of a lost loved one was a priority.
They established a savings account, put back what they could, and now, they have endowed the A.C. Brown III Engineering Scholarship through the Arkansas Tech University Foundation in remembrance of Alexis’ brother.
“Education has always been really important to me, personally, and to our family,” said Alexis, a 2008 graduate of Arkansas Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree who has gone on to become an obstetrician and gynecologist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. “I want any student to be able to achieve their dreams and their goals. I felt like having an endowed scholarship would be the best way to honor A.C.’s legacy while also helping other aspiring engineering students fulfil their goals and dreams.”
A.C. graduated from Greenwood High School with an honors diploma in 2004 and was also voted Mr. GHS his senior year. Following high school, he received an honors scholarship to attend Arkansas Tech University.
It was and is a family tradition. Both of A.C.’s siblings, Alexis Brown White and Elliott Brown, as well as his brother-in-law, Hunter White, and several cousins attended ATU.
While at Arkansas Tech, A.C. worked as a resident assistant, volunteered at the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Arkansas River Valley, served on the ATU Presidential Leadership Cabinet and was elected vice president of programming for Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. Like his siblings, he was a member of the ATU University Honors program under the tutelage of Dr. Jan Jenkins.
A.C. graduated from ATU in December 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree and an Associate of Science in Nuclear Technology degree. He went on to work at Henderson Engineering Firm in Lowell as a mechanical engineer and designer. He died on Nov. 18, 2011.
“A.C. was always very fun,” said Alexis. “He was very warm and inviting. I feel like he never met a stranger. Everyone was welcome around A.C. He loved life. He loved being with his friends and family. Family was very important to him.”
That family included A.C.’s fraternity brothers in Sigma Phi Epsilon. Several of them, led by Ryan McChesney, James McBride and Daniel McCauley, established the scholarship in A.C.’s memory shortly after his passing. Now, with additional financial support from Alexis and Hunter White, the scholarship and A.C.’s legacy at Arkansas Tech will continue into perpetuity.
“I may never meet any of the students who are recipients of the A.C. Brown Scholarship,” said Alexis, “but knowing that you’re passing forward a small act of kindness that might allow someone to complete their education and go on to great things is very exciting. It makes you feel like you are making a difference.”