Laurels and Stripes 2024

The University of Central Arkansas celebrated scholarships and honored distinguished alumni on April 13 at the 2024 Laurels & Stripes scholarship fundraising gala presented by First Security Bank at the UCA HPER Center. Live entertainment was presented by the Rodney Block Collective.

Connie Williams (from left) and 2024 Distinguished Alumnus Lencola Sullivan-Verseveldt.

“This was our biggest night of the year as we honored three new Distinguished Alumni, recognized donors who created 25 new scholarships over the last year and celebrated all of UCA’s many accomplishments, including the successful early end of the UCA NOW Campaign with more than $109 million raised,” said Jennifer Boyett, director of campaign communications.

Lindsay and Jon Ross Henderson served as co-chairs.

Ronnie and Connie Williams (from left), Jon Ross and Lindsay Henderson and Jenny Davis and UCA President Houston Davis.

Distinguished Alumni include:

LeRoy Dangeau, Class of 1955, now retired. Accomplishments include owner and operator of Dangeau Auto Parts and former Cross County Judge, State Representative, football coach, high school teacher and member of the U.S. Army and Army Reserve. He is on the selection board for the UCA Athletic Hall of Fame.

Dr. Emogene Fox, Classes of 1966 and 1971. She served UCA from 1980 until retiring in 2021 as a faculty member and chair of the Department of Health Sciences. She was instrumental in establishing relationships with UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, CHI St. Vincent, Conway Regional Medical Center, Baptist Medical Center and more. She serves on the UCA College of Health and Behavioral Sciences advisory board and continues to be a strong supporter of students through the Emogene Walmsley Fox Health Promotion Scholarship.

Dr. Denise Demers (from left), Dr. Betty Hubbard, 2024 Distinguished Alumnus Dr. Emogene Fox and Kim Ashley-Pauley.

Lencola Sullivan-Verseveldt, Class of 1979. She currently works for the Royal Dutch Shell Headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands, where she is a founding member of the Diversity and Inclusion Team, diversity and inclusion focal point, trainer and faculty member. She was crowned Miss Morrilton in 1977, Miss UCA in 1978 and Miss White River in 1979 and became the first African American Miss Arkansas in 1980. In 1981, she became the first African American contestant to win preliminary awards and to place in the Top Five of the Miss America competition.

Next year’s Laurel & Stripes gala will be on April 25, with Brad and Lisa Hegeman as co-chairs.