Arkansas State University - Newport

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May 2022

New scholarship honors Marked Tree community member

MARKED TREE (Ark.) – A new Arkansas State University-Newport scholarship will share the legacy of a shining light from Marked Tree, Arkansas. 

At the 2022 Marked Tree Chamber of Commerce Banquet, Ritter Arnold with the Mary Ann and Sidney Arnold Family Charitable Fund made a special announcement. Arnold announced the creation of the Franky Frans Shining Light Scholarship. 

The Franky Frans Shining Light Scholarship honors the legacy of Franky Frans who passed away unexpectedly on December 2, 2019. Franky was a Marked Tree native. Marked Tree is where Franky and his wife Vicki raised their family. It is where he invested his time, his energy, and love for his community. 

Franky was known for his work ethic and the positive light he shined everywhere he went. His career as a high voltage lineman allowed him to literally restore light to Marked Tree and surrounding communities. He is remembered as someone who was always willing to help no matter the circumstances.

The goal of this scholarship is to forever change the lives of young people in the Marked Tree community and beyond. When the $100,000 goal is reached, this scholarship will cover the full tuition of one ASUN-Marked Tree student each year.

To help reach this goal, the Mary Ann and Sidney Arnold Family Charitable Fund will match all donations made to the Franky Franks Shining Light Scholarship. 

“It’s clear Franky Frans made a lasting impact on the Marked Tree community,” said Teriann Turner, Advancement Officer at ASU-Newport. “Franky’s commitment to this community and the well-being of every person he met will always be remembered. Through this scholarship, we get to share Franky’s legacy each year with a student that we hope will be inspired to invest in the community the same way Franky did. We wouldn’t be able to do this without the support of Ritter Arnold and the Family Charitable Fund. They continue to invest in Marked Tree, and we are thrilled to be a part of that investment.”

From left: James Frans (son), Vicki Frans and Kasey Dunavant (daughter)

Vicki and her two children accepted the honor on behalf of Franky Frans at the Chamber Banquet. 

“We experienced a great loss when we lost Franky,” Vicki Frans said. “He was the light of our family. While we miss him greatly, we know his legacy lives on. He would be so proud to know his memory is being honored with a scholarship to help students attend ASUN-Marked Tree. Our family is so appreciative of ASU-Newport and the Mary Ann and Sidney Arnold Family Charitable Fund for making this possible.”

To donate to the Franky Frans Shining Light Scholarship online click here. You can also mail a check to ASU-Newport’s Office of Advancement at 7648 Victory Blvd. Newport, AR, 72112. For more information, contact Teriann Turner at   or call 870-512-7754.