First ever full-ride scholarship established at UAMS College of Medicine

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Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 11:47 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 24, 2023 at 11:49 AM CDT
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNOE) - For the first time in the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) 150-year history, a full-ride scholarship has become available to students in the university’s College of Medicine thanks to a gift from the estate of E. Lee Ronnel.

The Ronnel Family Endowed Chancellor’s Scholarship was announced on Aug. 24. The first-of-its-kind scholarship in the UAMS College of Medicine will cover tuition, fees, housing, and meals for the duration of medical school.

Recipients of the scholarship will be known as Ronnel Scholars. Those named as scholars will be Arkansas residents with high academic achievement who intend to practice medicine in Arkansas. Initially, one scholar will be chosen in each class of the UAMS College of Medicine. The inaugural recipient is Edward Morris of Little Rock.

The Ronnel family said they hope this gift will help add physicians to the Arkansas community, especially in rural areas.

“Our family is honored to be affiliated with this new scholarship program at UAMS,” said Dale Ronnel, Lee’s wife of 61 years. “We hope this gift inspires others to help UAMS grow the number of young Arkansans receiving full-ride medical school scholarships and expand access to quality health care for everyone in our state.”

G. Richard Smith, M.D., interim dean of the College of Medicine and executive vice chancellor of UAMS, said the new scholarship will be life-changing for those who receive it.

“The Ronnel scholarship endowment will help us recruit the most promising Arkansas students, and it will be life-changing for these aspiring physicians,” Smith said. “By alleviating the burden of medical school debt, full-tuition scholarships can provide a path for future physicians to practice in Arkansas communities where they are needed the most.”

At the request of the Ronnel family, the amount of the gift will not be disclosed.

For more information about the university’s scholarships offered, visit