~News Release from the University of Arkansas~
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A gift from the late Jim and Betty Bennett is being used to create the James Harold and Betty Jo Bennett Endowed Scholarship for undergraduate students at the University of Arkansas. The late Jim and Betty Bennett were native Arkansans, and both were distinguished graduates of the university.
As a nod to the couple’s majors, the scholarship will benefit two students each year – one studying chemical engineering in the College of Engineering and one studying mathematical sciences in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.
The Bennetts met on the U of A campus and were married for more than 60 years. They were devoted members of their community and St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church in Metairie, Louisiana.
“My parents were humble and hardworking,” said Elizabeth Grace Bennett, daughter of the Bennetts. “They believed in supporting the institution where they met, and received their education.”
Ed Clausen, interim department head of Ralph E. Martin Department of Chemical Engineering, said, “This gift will significantly impact our undergraduate students as they continue to face increasing educational expenses. We’re so grateful for this gift, and it means a great deal to us to have this kind of support.”
Mark Johnson, professor and chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, agreed. “We are very appreciative of this generous gift,” he said. “It will be of great help in supporting the success of our students.”
Jim Bennett was a first-generation college student and graduated with honors, earning a bachelor’s degree as well as a master’s degree in chemical engineering. He was a member of the Theta Tau Epsilon Fraternity. After college, he worked with the DuPont enterprise for 42 years and was recognized as a leader and mentor while managing various startup and innovative projects. The Bennett family spent five years in Singapore while Jim supervised the DuPont facility there.
Betty Bennett also graduated with honors from the university, earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematical sciences. She was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity, the Phi Beta Kappa National Honors Society and Daughters of the American Revolution. She worked as an 8th grade mathematics teacher for several years after college and was an active member of the parent-teacher associations where her children attended school, as well as the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America.