Skip to main contentSkip to main navigationSkip to footer content
Hannah and her family pose for a photo under trees

From left: Holly, a math education graduate; Hart, who just started this fall for engineering; Hannah, a current nursing student and her husband Allen; Hunnt, an automotive technology and electrical engineering graduate and his wife, Lorelei; Cameron, a Current accounting student and Hope, a radiology technician graduate, and current sonography student; their parents, Mary and Wade; Hailey, a paralegal studies graduate; Heather, a biology graduate and her husband, Preston; Hadleigh, a high school student.

BT-Current | Bell Tower MagazineFebruary 14, 2022

A Pride of Lions

Written By: Samantha Contreras

When applications for the Alumni Legacy Scholarship crossed our desk before the 2021-2022 academic year, we knew there would be standout students. But no one stood out quite the way Hannah Deaver did.

Hannah is a senior in the university’s bachelor of nursing degree program. Her application said she hopes to become a nurse practitioner and practice as a family practitioner in underserved communities in Arkansas.

She said she’s working hard to keep her grade point average so she can attend an excellent graduate school. The scholarship, she said, would allow her to quit her job and focus on her studies while preparing for the N-CLEX board exams for nurses.

All of this is remarkable and admirable but also typical of the high performing students in the UAFS nursing program.

Here’s where the story becomes unique.

“My parents have raised a remarkable generation of UAFS alumni as five of my siblings have already graduated from the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith, and I am next in line but followed closely by my little brother,” she wrote.

She is the sixth in line and holding the door open for her little brother.

“I am proud to be a UAFS student, and I am proud of the legacy of sibling alumni that I come from,” Deaver said. “The challenge I face today is to stay diligent in my studies. Most of my siblings graduated with a high GPA. So it’s a fun challenge to achieve the same. There’s nothing like a little sibling to keep motivated in your studies.”

Who are these motivators?

Heather Davis - Biology

Hunnt Hickman - Automotive Technologies and Electrical Engineering 

Holly Hickman - Mathematics with Teacher Licensure 

Hailey Carty - Paralegal Studies

Hope Chronister - Radiology Technology 


Little brother Hart Hickman started in fall 2021 with a plan to study electrical engineering.


We are sad to hear from students that they can’t wait to finish their college degrees so they can head off to larger cities and “better” opportunities. But not Hannah Deaver.


“Within the next 5 years, I hope to secure a nursing position in one of Fort Smith’s hospitals,” she said. “I love my hometown and want to stay and work in the region to see the outcome of all the exciting changes that are happening in the community, like the new VA medical center. There are many opportunities for nurses to help the community, and I am eager to start.”


We are eager to see how Hannah and her siblings will help the community.