The family of the late Dr. William J. “W.J.” McKiever is creating an endowed scholarship in the University of Arkansas at Monticello Foundation Fund to honor Dr. McKiever and his son, Dr. Randy McKiever.
The Dr. William J. McKiever and Dr. William Randall McKiever Pre-Pharmacy or Pre-Medicine Scholarship will be awarded to a junior or senior pre-pharmacy or pre-medicine student recommended by the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences. The recipient must be a full-time student with a grade point average of 3.25 or above with first preference given to students from Drew County, second preference to students from southeast Arkansas and third preference to students from Arkansas.
“I want to thank the McKiever family for its generosity in creating an endowment that will benefit future generations of students,” said UAM Chancellor Karla Hughes. “We are proud of our programs in pre-medicine and pre-pharmacy and it’s fitting that a scholarship honoring two distinguished graduates of these programs will help our graduates follow in their footsteps.”
The late Dr. McKiever was a long-time pharmacist in Monticello. He attended what was then Arkansas A&M College (now UAM) before attending pharmacy school at the University of Tennessee, graduating in 1959 with a doctorate in pharmacy. He purchased City Rexall Drug and became the youngest registered pharmacist in Arkansas to own a pharmacy.
Dr. McKiever spent seven years in the Army National Guard and was mobilized during the Berlin crisis. Active in a number of community and civic organizations, Dr. McKiever was a member of chairman of the Monticello Retail Merchants, Monticello Youth Council and Babe Ruth Board. He was a past member of the Lions Club, Jaycees, Optimist Club, and a vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce. He also served 10 years on the Monticello City Council and was a justice of the peace on the Drew County Quorum Court.
Dr. Randy McKiever graduated summa cum laude from UAM in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in biology before attending the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences where he graduated with an M.D. in 1981. He served a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the Sacred Heart Health System in Pensacola, Fla. From 1983-86, he was an emergency room physician at the DeQueen Medical Center before returning to Monticello in 1986 to open McKiever Clinic.
For the next 20 years, Dr. McKiever practiced obstetrics, family medicine and general surgery. He served on the State Board of Health and as a team physician to the UAM football team. He also found the time to coach his sons’ and nephews’ Little League baseball team and Pee Wee basketball team.
Dr. McKiever never forgot his medical roots and still worked a weekly night shift at Drew Memorial emergency room as an attending physician until a brain injury ended his career in 2006. His proudest legacy is the thousands of children he safely delivered into the world.
An initial gift of $1,000 has been made to the UAM Foundation Fund. Anyone interested in contributing to the McKiever Scholarship may do so by contacting the Office of Advancement at (870) 460-1028.