NPC students receive Van Davis Memorial 5K Scholarships
Thanks to funds raised by the Van Davis Memorial 5K presented by Morgan Stanley, two National Park College students will receive academic merit-based scholarships.
For Yesenia Altamirano, 19, of Glenwood, this award holds a special place in her heart, as she is a first-generation college student.
“My parents didn’t go to school, so I feel like it’s for them. It’s showing them that hard work does pay off, and showing my little brother that you can get scholarships,” said Altamirano.
“It’s great to know that there are people in the community trying to help students around here,” she said.
Altamirano is studying her basics at NPC, then transferring to Henderson State University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nuclear medicine.
Despite being a nontraditional student and the challenges that accompany it, Paige Morphew, 24, of Hot Springs, has been in the PTK Honors Program, on the dean’s list, and president’s list each semester she has been at NPC.
“I feel like it’s my hard work manifesting itself,” Morphew said.
She said the funds will be of “tremendous assistance” to her education.
Once Morphew ends this semester with an associate degree in Liberal Arts, she plans to transfer to the University of Central Arkansas in Conway to pursue a bachelor’s degree in applied linguistics.
Through her education, Morphew says she wants to “help other generations in the best way I can.”
Altamirano and Morphew will both be volunteering at the race.
The race and scholarships are held in loving memory of the late NPC instructor Van Davis. After leaving Iowa and studying history at Oxford University in England and the University of Virginia, Davis moved to Arkansas to teach history and political science at NPC where he taught for 38 years as one of the original instructors from the time of the college’s founding.
According to school administrators, Davis was deeply loved and appreciated by faculty, staff, and students alike. “He was a seminal part of the school,” said Race Director Blake Butler.
Considering his love of education and running, those around him felt that a 5K race with all proceeds donated to a NPC scholarship fund would be the perfect way to honor his life and memory.
The seventh annual Van Davis Memorial 5K will be held on Feb. 16 at 9 a.m., with a Kids Fun Run beginning at 8:30 a.m. Online preregistration is $30, and day-ofrace registration is $35. Race participants will receive a Van Davis Memorial 5K T-shirt, racing bibs, complimentary snacks, Morgan Stanley’s Dennis Barry’s “famous pasta-laya,” and for the first time this year, finisher’s medals.
The man, woman, and child with the fastest times will receive winner’s medals.
Those who do not want to run but want to donate can participate as a “virtual runner” by paying the entry fee and receiving a T-shirt, but not actually running in the race.
Butler said the race follows a flat route, “which is rare in Arkansas.” The course will begin in Whittington City Park, turn at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts, and end back in the park. This was a favorite running and dog-walking path for Davis. The race is certified by USA Track & Field.
Race officials are still looking for corporate sponsors. Sponsors will have the company’s logo on the back of the race T-shirts and other marketing materials. The deadline for becoming a corporate sponsor is Feb 5. Call 7604300 to sponsor.
Visit https://bit.ly/2VQPgX5 to sign up.
SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS: NPC students Yesenia Altamirano, left, and Paige Morphew are the 2019 Van Davis Memorial 5K Scholarship recipients.