New UA scholarship honors late officer Stephen Carr

Madi Rader and Stephen Carr (Courtesy)

The University of Arkansas this month announced the establishment of The Stephen Carr Memorial Endowed Scholarship for students pursuing a major in a law enforcement-related field with a demonstrated interest in athletics.

The scholarship was set up by Madi Rader in memory of Officer Carr, who was 27 years old when he was killed by a gunman who shot him while he was sitting in his patrol vehicle behind the Fayetteville Police Department in 2019.

Carr and Rader were planning a life together before Carr’s death. Rader said she hopes the scholarship will help identify students who share Carr’s passion for protecting and serving others.

“(Carr) always wanted to take care of his people,” Rader said. “It didn’t matter if it was cooking for someone or helping with moving furniture or going over to my sister’s house to kill a spider for her. He was a team player. Always.”

Fayetteville Police Chief Mike Reynolds agreed.

“Stephen was a noble public servant, and his character defined him and the culture of the Fayetteville Police Department,” said Reynolds. “Stephen’s death marked not only a tragic loss for my department, but our entire community.”

The City Council in 2021 changed the name of the street where the city’s new Police Department headquarters is being built to Stephen Carr Memorial Boulevard.

The new facility includes a public plaza with a memorial wall to honor Fayetteville police officers who died while on duty. A statue of Carr sitting on a park bench with his dog, Red, is set to be placed outside the public entrance.

Stephen Carr Memorial Boulevard sign on Interstate 49 (Todd Gill/Fayetteville Flyer)

To raise money for the scholarship, Rader’s “Light the City Blue” campaign is selling $5 raffle tickets for a chance to win gift baskets full of local products through the end of the day on April 12. The campaign will also accept donations for the scholarship at any time.

For more information, visit Light the City Blue on Facebook or on Instagram.

Those interested in supporting the scholarship should contact Ben Carter, senior director of development for student affairs at the University of Arkansas via email at [email protected].