ATU Student Earns Surprise Scholarship

Arkansas Tech University student Xenia Jones had no idea why she was sitting at a table at a Russellville restaurant on the evening of Thursday, Oct. 18.

Nonetheless, she listened intently as ATU alumna Lou Nell Davis spoke. The audience was a group of Davis’ friends known as the Caraway Hall Third Floor Girls, a collection of Arkansas Tech alumnae that celebrates a six-decade friendship every year at ATU Homecoming.

Jones heard from Davis about the bond that was formed between those women during their time as Arkansas Tech students in the late 1950s, how the friendship was rekindled with a 2009 reunion event and how the group decided in 2012 to pay forward their love for Tech by establishing an annual scholarship.

That was when the smile slowly began to appear on Jones’ face.

She is nursing student from Berlin, Germany, with a 4.0 grade point average. Jones also serves as a student assistant in the ATU Department of English and World Languages, where she has never missed a day of work.

That level of excellence and dedication prompted her faculty mentors to nominate Jones for a $3,000 scholarship from the Caraway Hall Third Floor Girls, which she received during the surprise event on the Thursday of Homecoming 2018 week at ATU.

“Honestly, I’m overwhelmed by their selflessness and the thought that they put into all of this,” said Jones a few moments after the presentation. “I appreciate it so much. It will help tremendously, and I am grateful for all of them. I’m still so overwhelmed and surprised.”

In addition to Davis, Carolyn Leek Allen, Meg Griffith Koziar, Janice Skelton Robinson and Barbara Creecy Tate were the Caraway Hall Third Floor Girls in attendance for the scholarship presentation.

Other members of the Caraway Hall Third Floor Girls who contributed to the 2018 scholarship are Shirley Drewry Dodd, Sally Featherston Hallum, Carlene Branch Henderson, Bonnie Hawkins Hill, Patsy Marshall Kerley, Virginia Horn Sizemore and Eddie Carol Whitehead.

Jones will graduate from ATU in December 2018. She plans on moving to San Antonio, Texas, where she will continue her education by pursuing a doctorate with a career goal of becoming a nurse practitioner.

Photographed (top row, left-to-right): Lou Nell McCraw Davis, Xenia Jones and Barbara Creecy Tate; (bottom row, left-to-right): Carolyn Leek Allen, Meg Griffith Koziar and Janice Skelton Robinson.

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