JONESBORO — To honor the memory of their son, the parents of Herman W. Strickland Jr. of Memphis have made a lead gift toward a major scholarship endowment at Arkansas State University. The scholarship will reward outstanding students who share the honoree’s passion for public service.

Dr. Herman and Maxcine Strickland of Jonesboro made a $100,000 gift on behalf of the Strickland family to establish the Herman W. Strickland Jr. Endowed Scholarship. Their son died suddenly in April 2020.

Following close on the heels of the family’s lead gift, Memphian John O’Connor and his wife Glenda doubled the size of the endowment with a gift of stock valued at $100,000. Rick Neal and his wife Mercy, also of Memphis, have pledged an additional $25,000 to the endowment. The O’Connors and Neals are among the Strickland family’s closest friends.

Additional donations to the fund will allow the first award to be made this year, while the principal gifts generate interest income to perpetuate the scholarship annually.

A 1981 A-State alumnus, Strickland was very involved in the life of the university and the Memphis community. He was on the board of the A-State Alumni Association and was a past president of the Strong-Turner Alumni Chapter. He also had served on the board of the Arkansas State University Foundation, Inc.

Strickland was raised in Jonesboro, where his father was a longtime professor in the College of Education and Behavioral Science and dean of University College.

The scholarship will honor Strickland’s many community service endeavors, requiring each student recipient to be active in a service organization.

Full-time minority students at A-State with a minimum 2.5 grade-point average and 30 credit hours may apply, regardless of major area of study. Applicants will need to provide a record of their previous involvement and future interest in community service work. Preference will be given to those with financial need.

The Strong-Turner Chapter will select three qualified individuals from the pool of applicants. The director of privately funded scholarships will confer with the Strickland family to make the final selection.

Other individuals interested in supporting the endowment can make additional gifts online through the university website.