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Franzen Scholarship Awarded to Stuttgart Student


JONESBORO – Matthew Gibbs, a senior plant and soil science major at Arkansas State University, is the 2019 recipient of the Katherine E. Franzen Memorial Scholarship. The Franzen family selects the award winner each spring semester.

Gibbs attended and graduated from Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas with an associate degree before enrolling in Arkansas State. Raised in a farming community, he recognized many different job opportunities open in the agriculture field. Gibbs plans to pursue a PhD in agronomy. He is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Phi Beta Lambda fraternity.

“Living in the Arkansas Delta my entire life, I have always been around agriculture,” said Gibbs. “Since I grew up in the rice and duck capital of the world, agriculture and soil have been a very big part of my life. It wasn’t until I came to Arkansas State that I discovered what I really wanted to major in.

“I want to help farmers across the nation and want to be able to help farmers to realize how to increase the amount of crop growth to improve their success. I also want the opportunity to either become a researcher or a plant breeder.”

Franzen scholarship recipients must be from Arkansas County and a full-time student at Arkansas State majoring in an agriculture-related field. The scholarship was founded to help students advance their education in the agricultural field. Recipients must maintain a minimum 2.25 grade point average and must exhibit leadership qualities.

The Katherine Franzen Memorial Scholarship is privately funded, established in 1992 by her grandson, Tom W. Franzen, to honor his grandmother who lived in Stuttgart. She was an astute farmer and businesswoman whose generosity was far-reaching. 

Katherine E. Franzen (1914-2001) was a lifelong resident who contributed to a number of causes in the Stuttgart area. She was especially known for presenting anonymous gifts and sought no personal recognition. 

Matthew Gibbs
 Matthew Gibbs of Stuttgart is the 2019 recipient of the Katherine Franzen Scholarship.