The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Act was signed Wednesday by Governor Beebe and carried an emergency clause, taking effect immediately.
Under provisions of the Act, there will be nine Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Commissioners, three appointed by the Governor, three by the Speaker of the House, and three by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate.
For these initial appointments, each appointing authority must specify terms of two, four, and six years for their three appointees. Once these terms expire, Commissioners will be appointed for six-year terms.
Those named today by Senator Johnson and their terms of office: Ray Thornton, six years; Patty L. Shipp, four years; Derrick W. Smith, two years.
Ray Thornton has served since 2005 as the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law Public Service Fellow. He was an Associate Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court from 1997 to 2004. Before his election to the Court, Thornton served as Arkansas’s Second District Congressman for six years. He has also served as President of the University of Arkansas System, President of Arkansas State University, Arkansas’s Fourth District Congressman, and Arkansas's Attorney General.
From 1956 to 1970, he engaged in the private practice of law. Thornton has been a member of the Committee on Government/Industry Cooperation in Biomedical Research of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He served both as Chairman of the Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and as Chairman of the National Institutes of Health Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee. He also chaired the state Board of Law Examiners, served as a corporate officer in a number of business enterprises, and represented clients in matters relating to finance, government regulation, antitrust litigation, utility litigation, and patenting and licensing.
Patty Lynn Shipp
Patty L. Shipp of Morrilton, has been a small business owner since 1979. In addition to her extensive business experience, Ms. Shipp is active in education and public service. She was a member of the local school board for five years and continues her 12-year service on the South Conway County Public School Foundation, an organization that raises money to implement technology in the schools. She is on the Steering Committee of Conway County School Counts!, a grassroots effort to fund tuition assistance to local students attending UA/Morrilton.
Her volunteer service includes the following: Saint Anthony's Hospital Governing Board, Morrilton Area Chamber of Commerce Board, Child Development Board of Directors, Morrilton Parks and Recreation Commission, Conway County Community Fund Board of Directors, multiple offices including presidency of the school district's PTA, service positions at the Morrilton First Baptist Church, and Pure Joy International Retreat Ministry board of directors and financial and technical administrator.
Derrick W. Smith
Derrick W. Smith is a partner in the Mitchell Williams law firm of Little Rock, Rogers and Austin. His practice focuses on insurance corporate and regulatory law, appellate practice, and administrative law. He received a bachelor's degree with distinction from Hendrix College and a J.D. with honors from the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law and was admitted to practice in Arkansas in 2000. He since has been admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and before the United States Supreme Court. Smith is a member of the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the Arkansas Bar Association, and the Pulaski County Bar Association.
He is author of several published works, including a chapter in the American Bar Association publication Superseding and Staying Judgments. He is a member of the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission and serves on the boards of City Year Little Rock/North Little Rock and Just Communities of Central Arkansas. Smith also is a past president of the Hendrix College Alumni Association Board of Governors.