Nearly eight years ago residents of El Dorado learned that a unique initiative — called the El Dorado Promise — would allow graduates of El Dorado Public Schools the opportunity to earn college degrees tuition-free as a result of a $50 million commitment by Murphy Oil Corporation to El Dorado’s greatest resource – its children. Since its inception, nearly 1,500 students have received Promise scholarship funding.
Asked why Murphy Oil Corporation decided to fund the Promise, Murphy’s Chairman of the Board Claiborne Deming said, “Education is the one thing you can provide people that can permanently change their lives.”
And researchers from the University of Arkansas have concluded that, among its neighbors and peers, El Dorado students are thriving. And residents have an expectation of the recipients coming home to pay it forward. Director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education Shane Broadway encouraged students to reinvest or return to El Dorado after graduating. “Be proud of this community,” he said. “You have been given a gift not many in this country have been given. Murphy made a decision to invest in you. Always remember where you came from and find ways to give back.”
El Dorado Promise students can attend any accredited two or four-year college or university in the U. S. The maximum amount of the Promise scholarship is based on Arkansas resident tuition, which was about $7,500 last year. El Dorado Promise students are currently enrolled in 59 different colleges and universities and have received degrees from 35 colleges and universities throughout the U.S.