2015 Honorary Degree Recipients

Joan Clifford

Joan Clifford

Joan Clifford, a native of Philadelphia, PA, earned a BA from Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA. She and her husband Ed made several moves during their married life from Pennsylvania to New York, Michigan, and Oklahoma before settling in Bentonville.

Devoting much time through the years to civic and church activities on both the local and state levels, Joan served as Assistant Director of the Peel House Museum in Bentonville from 1992 to 2000. Other activities have included service on the Liaison Committee of the Downtown Planning Group for Square Renovation in Bentonville; First Presbyterian Church of Bentonville Session member, moderator of the Worship Committee, and past officer of the Presbyterian Women; past director of Helping Hands; past president of the Bentonville Library Commission; past state president of Questers International; past president of the Bentonville Garden Club and past vice president of the Northwest Arkansas Tourism Association. Joan has also served on the boards of the Arkansas Association of Two Year Colleges, the Northwest Arkansas Children's Shelter, and the Civic Symphony of Benton County.

Joan served on the NWACC Board of Trustees from January 2001 until December 2012. While on the Board she served as Secretary for two years and Chair for two years.

Joan was also an integral part of the formation of the President's Advisory Council on the Arts (PACA) at NWACC. She served as Board liaison for PACA during her time on the Board and stayed a part of the group following her Board service as a community representative. Her work with PACA has helped support students in the arts and the College-wide fine arts collection.

Dick Trammel

Dick Trammel Dick Trammel is a native of Pocahontas, Arkansas, and a 1960 graduate of the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. After college, Trammel returned to his hometown and was active in the cotton gin and grain elevator business until 1970. He then became vice president and was a founding director of Planters and Stockmen Bank. While in Pocahontas, he served as president of the Chamber of Commerce, Randolph County Farm Bureau, founding director and chairman of the Rolling Hills Country Club and president of the Rotary Club.

In 1975, Trammel moved to Rogers, Arkansas, to become a vice president of First National Bank & Trust Company, which later became Arvest Bank, Rogers. He currently serves as executive vice president and is a member of the Board of Directors and Board Secretary of Arvest Bank, Rogers.

He is past president and a current member of the Board of the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce. Trammel is a past president of the Rotary Club of Rogers and past governor of Rotary International District 6110. He also is a founding director of the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Benton County and received one of their Tribute Awards in 2000.

He is a member of the advisory boards for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Area Health Center Northwest and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Northwest Campus. He serves on the board of the UAMS Foundation Fund and on the advisory board for the UAMS Arkansas Cancer Research Center. He also serves on the Board of the NorthWest Arkansas Community Foundation. Trammel previously served on the Board of Directors for Mercy Health Systems of Northwest Arkansas, and he is a past chairman and board member of the Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Arkansas.

Trammel is a charter member, past chairman and past board member of the Board of Trustees of NorthWest Arkansas Community College. In the spring of 2005, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee appointed him to the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and he served on the board until December 2008.

Trammel is a past member of the Board of the Ozark Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation and a board member of the Jones Center for Families. He is a past board member of the American Heart Association, Ozark Affiliate. He is also a charter board member of Rebuilding Together of Northwest Arkansas, having served as vice chair.

In January 2009, Governor Mike Beebe appointed Trammel to the Arkansas Highway Commission, to serve until January 2019. He is currently serving as Chairman.

He is married to Nancy Trammel and together they have six children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandsons.

Past Recipients


  • Bob H. Crafton – Associate Degree in Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • Evalena Mayo – Associate Degree in Educational Service


  • Preston Bynum – Associate of Educational Service
  • Melba Shewmaker – Associate of Humanitarian Service


  • Howard Slinkard – Associate of Educational Service


  • David Thrasher – Associate of Servant Leadership


  • The Honorable David Bisbee – Associate of Educational Service


  • Dr. Donald E. White – Associate of Humanitarian Service (posthumous)


  • Steve Galen – Associate of Educational Service


  • Virginia Mocivnik – Associate of Humanitarian Service
  • Etsyl Sparkman – Associate of Educational Service


  • Jack Shewmaker – Associate of Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • Pauline Whitaker – Associate of Educational Service
  • Pat & Willard Walker – Associate of Humanitarian Service