The Atiq Family recently donated $50,000 to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff to create The Atiq Family Endowed Scholarship. The funds will benefit first generation college students looking to pursue careers in the field of medicine.


Dr. Omar Atiq, director of the Arkansas Cancer Institute at Pine Bluff, said the decision to invest in students at UAPB was an easy one, according to a news release.


With three sons who are physicians and a daughter in medical school, he wanted to perpetuate the same opportunity for students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCU), according to the release.


“We should try to do something for other kids [that have] absolutely the same potential, but not the same opportunities,” Atiq said. “We hope that this will be the first of many scholarships over time.”


It was this thought and conversations with George Cotton, Vice Chancellor for Advancement and Development, that resulted in the gift.


“We are grateful to the Atiq family for investing in our students,” said UAPB Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander. “Their gift will help our university continue its mission of creating the next generation of medical professionals to impact the workforce in our city, region, and state.”


This is not the first investment the family has made in the community — they provided leadership and initial funding to establish the UAPB Literacy Institute for improving literacy and have established educational endowments for the less privileged in their community, according to the release.


“This gift of personal generosity by the Atiq family will allow the university to continue a tradition of educating first generation students looking to impact the field of medicine,” Cotton said. “The Atiqs’ passion for giving back sets a wonderful pattern for all of us to follow.”


Dr. Omar T. Atiq is also professor of Medicine and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), where he also served as the director of the Cancer Service Line, quality director and associate director of Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. An oncologist and hematologist with 28 years of experience, Atiq is also a Diplomate of the American Boards of Medical Oncology, Hematology and Internal Medicine.


For details about the endowed scholarship, emails should be sent to communications@uapb.edu.