FAYETTEVILLE — The Panamanian president, a University of Arkansas graduate, has donated $100,000 to the university to establish a scholarship to benefit outstanding student leaders in the Sigma Nu fraternity, the UA announced Tuesday.
President Ricardo Martinelli studied business at the university and graduated in 1973. Elected president of Panama in 2009, he has remained an active alumnus and returns to campus often.
He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Arkansas Alumni Association in 2002 and was inducted into the Towers of Old Main in 2013. Martinelli received an honorary degree and was a featured speaker at the university’s All University Commencement this spring and currently serves on the Campaign Arkansas Steering Committee.
"President Martinelli is an exceptional friend and alumnus of ours," said Chancellor G. David Gearhart. "This gift is just another example of his generosity and dedication to the University of Arkansas. We have been honored to get to know him better over the last several years and appreciate his latest contribution to provide financial support for outstanding students."
The Ricardo Martinelli Endowed Sigma Nu Leadership Scholarship is the second one established in President Martinelli’s name. In 2009, the Ricardo A. Martinelli Endowed Scholarship was established to provide financial assistance to students from the Republic of Panama who wanted to pursue higher education at the University of Arkansas.