Centennial Bank First Bank to Establish Endowed Scholarship in College of Business with $30,000 Gift

Centennial Bank has become the first bank to establish an endowed scholarship in the UCA College of Business with a $30,000 gift to create the Centennial Bank Endowed Finance Scholarship Fund.

The scholarship will be awarded annually, beginning in 2019, to one student per year, known as a Centennial Bank Scholar. Recipients will be finance majors in the College of Business.

Centennial Bank Division President Greg Sanson said the bank is excited to provide assistance to students pursuing finance in the College of Business.

“UCA has played a major role in our success at Centennial Bank,” said Sanson. “We have several employees who have graduated from there and numerous current students who are working here part-time. Centennial Bank and UCA call Conway home and we feel it is very important to keep these students here.”

More than 40 UCA alumni and current students are employed by Centennial Bank, making it one of the university’s largest corporate partners.

Sanson said this decision by Centennial Bank is important to him on a personal level because of the connection he has to UCA.

“I’m a proud alumnus, and both my parents and son graduated from UCA as well,” he said. “The education I received there has definitely helped me succeed in business and in life.”

Centennial Bank is the wholly owned subsidiary of Home BancShares, co-founded by Johnny Allison and Robert H. “Bunny” Adcock, a University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees member. It has locations in Arkansas, Florida, Alabama and New York.

“Mr. Allison and Centennial Bank have been wonderful supporters of our college for many years,” said Michael Hargis, Ph.D., dean of the College of Business. “We are thrilled that support continues to grow with this scholarship to benefit our students.”

Centennial Bank is the first company to commit to piloting a large scale, multi-discipline internship program within the College of Business.

Additionally, the bank established the Johnny Allison Entrepreneurship Speaker Series in 2006, and has brought more than 20 speakers to the College of Business to talk with students, including Rush Harding, Rick Massey, Steve Strange, and former Govs. Mike Beebe and Mike Huckabee. Its most recent speaker was Marshall Stewart, president of Greenway Equipment and UCA College of Business alumnus.

Centennial Bank also has the John W. Allison Entrepreneur Endowed Professorship Fund, which supports faculty within the Innovation and Entrepreneurship program. The Innovation and Entrepreneurship program began in 2012 with a cohort of 40 students and has nearly doubled since.

Allison is the keynote speaker of this year’s Davis Family Lecture Series in the College of Business. The lecture is set for 1:40 p.m. Oct. 30 in the College of Business auditorium.

The UCA College of Business is the fastest-growing college at the University of Central Arkansas with more than 1,650 undergraduate students and 150 graduate students. It offers 13 baccalaureate degrees, two master’s and one graduate certificate across four academic departments and houses the state’s only insurance and risk management program. Visit uca.edu/business for more.