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University of Arkansas student body president named Rhodes Scholar

by Jaime Adame | November 22, 2021 at 12:23 p.m.
Coleman Warren, student body president at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, on Nov. 10, 2021 presents the results of an Associated Student Government survey of students to the university's faculty senate. (Jaime Adame/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

FAYETTEVILLE — Coleman Warren, a senior at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, has been named a Rhodes Scholar, the first Arkansan to receive the honor in five years and the first UA student since 2000.

Warren, from Farmington, is one of 32 U.S. students selected for an honor that includes all-expenses paid graduate study at the University of Oxford in England.

The first Rhodes Scholars entered the University of Oxford in 1904, and the honor is considered among the most prestigious for U.S. students. Warren will begin his studies in October of next year, pursuing a graduate degree in comparative social policy.

Notable past Rhodes Scholars from Arkansas include former U.S. President Bill Clinton and the late U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright.

Scholars are selected based on academic excellence, a commitment to the welfare of others and "great promise of leadership," among other criteria, said Elliot F. Gerson, American secretary of the Rhodes Trust, in a statement.

Warren is majoring in industrial engineering and political science at UA, where he is the student body president.

His undergraduate honors thesis is about the accessibility of food pantries in Washington County, and he's also the founder of a small-batch ice cream company, Simple + Sweet Creamery, which donates 50% of its profits to fighting child hunger, according to its website, with donations going to the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank.

Earlier this year, Warren was named a Harry S. Truman Scholar, one of 62 students nationally to receive an award given out based on academic success, leadership and the likelihood of becoming a public service leader.

"Coleman has made a significant difference throughout his academic career but especially as [Associated Student Government] president," UA Interim Chancellor Charles Robinson said in a statement. "He has worked on a variety of important issues here and in the community, all while being a stellar student. I am very proud of him and his many accomplishments, that go well beyond the winning of this high honor."

Warren, in a statement, thanked those who helped him apply for the honor.

"Eight wonderful people wrote letters for me, dedicated faculty members participated in practice interviews, and accomplished research mentors and stellar leadership advisors counseled me along the way," Warren said. "Now, I have the opportunity to build on that support and to learn at Oxford more about how to address persistent problems like poverty and food insecurity and then return home to put all I have learned into practice as we work to address the challenges that face our state and country."

The most recent Rhodes Scholar from Arkansas prior to Warren was Lauren Jackson, from Little Rock, who was announced as a Rhodes Scholar in 2016 while studying at the University of Virginia.

Warren is the first Arkansan studying at an Arkansas college to win the honor since Rhett Martin, an Atkins native, was named a 2002 Rhodes Scholar while studying at the University of Central Arkansas.

The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville has had 11 students win the honor. Anna Terry, a 2001 Rhodes Scholar and Fort Smith native, had been the most recent UA honoree.


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