UACES Facebook Arkansas 4-H Foundation creates Bragg Family Memorial Scholarship Fund
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Arkansas 4-H Foundation creates Bragg Family Memorial Scholarship Fund

Jan. 12, 2024

By Tracy Courage
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fast facts:

  • Division of Agriculture donates $5,000 to Bragg Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • Scholarship will be awarded to 4-H members pursuing college degrees in natural resources, STEM fields
  • Donate at

LITTLE ROCK — A member of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture family and her husband and children who died suddenly in December will be memorialized by the Arkansas 4-H Foundation.

BRAGGS — The Bragg Family Memorial Scholarship Fund honors Hope and Don Bragg and their children. (UADA photo)

The foundation has created a scholarship in memory of Hope and Don Bragg, as well as their son Kenny, 22, and daughter, Elizabeth, 19. The four died December 30 in a house explosion while visiting family in Michigan. Their son Stephen, 16, and Hope’s father, Richard Pruden, survived.

On Friday, the Division of Agriculture announced a $5,000 donation to the fund.

The Bragg Family Memorial Scholarship Fund honors Hope Bragg who was a 4-H STEM instructor with the Division of Agriculture’s Cooperative Extension Service. Her husband Don was a project leader for the U.S. Forest Service with an office at the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

“I want to thank John Thomas and the 4-H Foundation for quickly establishing a scholarship in honor of Hope and the Bragg Family,” said Deacue Fields, head of the Division of Agriculture. “This scholarship will honor their memory for years to come by helping young people achieve their college goals.”

The Braggs were beloved by friends and co-workers, many of whom have donated to the fund. With the Division’s gift of $5,000, the foundation has now raised $16,000, said John Thomas, the foundation’s managing director. The foundation needs $25,000 to endow the fund, so that scholarships can be awarded from interest earned on the money while preserving the capital, he said.

“Losing a beloved colleague so suddenly has been a shock to all of our 4-H, extension and Division of Agriculture family,” said John Anderson, director of the Cooperative Extension Service. “We all wanted to do something that would honor the Bragg family and their love for Arkansas 4-H, education and particularly the sciences. We hope this scholarship will enable 4-H members to further their education and pursue their own passions for the sciences.”

The scholarship will be awarded annually to an Arkansas 4-H member high school senior who plans to pursue a college degree in natural resources or in the science, technology, engineering and math fields. Archaeology will also be an eligible field of study.

Both Hope and Don were members of the Arkansas Archaeological Society, and their son Kenny was on track to graduate this spring with an archeology degree from Michigan Tech. Their daughter, Beth, was a freshman at the University of Arkansas, and Hope was pursuing a Ph.D.

"This is our way of ensuring that the passions these Bragg family members had for 4-H will not only be remembered but also will be passed on to future generations of Arkansas 4-H youth," Thomas said.

Both Hope and Don shared a profound love of education.

“They were both so focused on educating youth,” said Debbie Nistler, assistant vice president for 4-H Youth Development with the Division of Agriculture. “If you had the opportunity to see either one of them work with youth, you couldn’t help but get excited. We want to make their passion for education a legacy.”

For more information about the Arkansas 4-H Foundation and the scholarship, visit

To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit Follow us on X and Instagram at @AR_Extension. To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: Follow on X at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit Follow us on X at @AgInArk. 

About the Division of Agriculture 

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.  

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.  

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. 

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Media Contact
Tracy Courage
Director of Communications-Extension
U of A System Division of Agriculture