New ATU Scholarship for Law Enforcement Families

Hawkins Scholarship Announcement Photo Fall 2021
John Ben Hawkins (front and center), retired officer with the Russellville Police Department, was joined by law enforcement colleagues (back row, left-to-right) Blake E. Wilson, chief deputy for the Pope County Sheriff's Office; Capt. Kyle Drown, commander for Troop J of the Arkansas State Police; Joshua McMillian, chief of the Arkansas Tech University Department of Public Safety; (front row, left-to-right) Chief David Ewing, Russellville Police Department; and Sheriff Shane Jones, Pope County, for a photograph announcing the establishment of the Peggy Bibler Hawkins Scholarship at ATU.

A new endowed scholarship at Arkansas Tech University will create educational opportunities for the dependents of law enforcement officers.

The Peggy Bibler Hawkins Scholarship through the ATU Foundation was established with a $780,000 gift from the estate of the scholarship’s namesake.

“My mother was an alumna of Arkansas Tech and I am retired from the Russellville Police Department,” said John Ben Hawkins. “It is our family’s intention for this to provide full-ride scholarships to ATU for the dependents of law enforcement officers.”

Peggy Hawkins taught in the schools at Waldron, Dover and Dardanelle. She loved books, as was evidenced by her status as co-owner of Centennial Bookshop and librarian at Second Baptist Church in Russellville.

She also worked at the family business, Bibler Brothers Lumber Company. Hawkins died on Dec. 21, 2019. She was 85.

Entering ATU students who apply for the Peggy Bibler Hawkins Scholarship must have a cumulative 2.5 high school grade point average on a 4.0 scale and a minimum ACT score of 17. GED students must meet the minimum admissions requirements as set by the university.

Returning ATU students who apply for the scholarship must have demonstrated the potential to succeed and show academic progress toward a degree.

Peggy Bibler Hawkins Scholarship recipients must maintain a minimum schedule of 12 hours per semester. Each scholarship is for one semester with the possibility of renewal if the student continues to meet the criteria.

To learn more about supporting or applying for private scholarships funded through the ATU Foundation, visit or call (479) 968-0400.