JONESBORO – One day following the death of Lori Fenner, a retired instructor in the College of Agriculture at Arkansas State University, Blaire Wildy of Manila was selected as the recipient of the inaugural Lori Fenner Agriculture Alumni Scholarship.
Wildy is majoring in agricultural studies with a concentration in agricultural communications and has a minor in agribusiness. She is the daughter of Justin and Kristi Wildy of Manila. Both parents graduated from A-State with degrees in agriculture and both had Fenner as a teacher.
“It is such an honor to be the first recipient of the Lori Fenner Alumni Scholarship,” said Wildy. “Being a second-generation student in the College of Agriculture at A-State, Mrs. Fenner's legacy has made a lasting impact on my family. I had the privilege of getting to know Mrs. Fenner when she served on the Buffalo Island Livestock Board while I showed livestock in high school.
“Although my time with her in my college career was shortened by her retirement, I did get the privilege of her making my schedule for my first semester at A-State. Receiving this award is something I do not take lightly, and I consider myself very blessed and grateful.”
Qualifications for receiving the scholarship include: one of the nominee’s parents must be an A-State alumnus with an undergraduate degree from the College of Agriculture; student must not be a recipient of A-State Scholar or A-State Excellence institutional scholarships; student must have completed 30 hours at the Jonesboro campus (no transferred or concurrent hours); and nominee must have a grade point average of 3.0.
Recipients must reapply each year. A scholarship committee consisting of members of the College of Agriculture will make the selection.
Fenner died Wednesday, Oct. 24. She came to Arkansas State in 1993 and has taught agricultural business courses, advised students, and served in several management and planning roles throughout her time. A graduate of A-State, she earned her bachelor of science degree in business data processing in 1983 and her master of science in information systems in 1984.
She advised over 200 students per semester within the College of Agriculture. In 2015, Fenner was recognized as recipient of the Faculty Award for Excellence in academic advising. Fenner was considered the College of Agriculture's "go-to resource" on student advising.
“Lori’s contributions to A-State’s agriculture program during over two decades of service contributed significantly to the success the college enjoys today,” noted Dr. Timothy Burcham, dean, College of Agriculture. “She made a positive and lasting impact on lives of thousands of students and their families during her time of service to the college. Her radiant smile and ‘can do’ attitude will be missed by each of us, but her legacy will never be forgotten with the Lori Fenner Agriculture Alumni Scholarship.”