The purpose of the award of distinguished alumni is to recognize exceptional professional and personal achievement and extraordinary distinction in a chosen field. Award selections are made by a subcommittee of the Alumni Board of Directors.

2001-2002: Dan Cowling


Dan Cowling is a 1971 undergraduate of the Fulbright College and earned his graduate degree in communication from the university in 1973. Since founding The Communications Group, in 1987, Cowling has been recognized with awards and distinctions for his work in the social marketing, including the Distinguished Service Award from the Arkansas Advertising Federation in 1994 for his leadership role in the Campaign for Healthier Babies and the Partnership and Leadership Award for outstanding private sector leadership in public health in 2000 from the Tennessee Public Health Education Association.

1999-2000: Donna Axum Whitworth


While a student at the U of A, Donna Axum Whitworth was crowned Miss America 1964. She received her BA in 1966 and her MA in 1969, both in speech and drama. Her extensive professional experience as a college teacher, executive producer/TV hostess, TV spokesperson, speaker, and author is complemented by civic and government service, notably on the Advisory Committee for the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women, the Governor’s Commission on the Employment of the Disabled in Arkansas, and the Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Her service to the U of A includes leadership roles in the Arkansas Alumni Association and the National Development Council.

1998-1999: Kay Kelley Arnold


Kay Kelley Arnold received a B. A. in Speech and Drama in 1975 and an M. A. in Communication in 1976 from the U of A, and a law degree from UALR in 1980. She served as general manager of corporate communications at Arkansas Power & Light in 1988 before going to Washington as director of general governmental affairs for Entergy. She has been named among the top 100 women in Arkansas (1995) and as a National Woman of Achievement in Energy by Women in Energy Inc. (1992). She currently serves as Vice President for System Governmental Affairs, Entergy Corporations.

Arkansas Alumni Association