The University of Central Arkansas physical therapy program has received a $100,000 charitable remainder unitrust from alum Sandy Quillen, PT, DPT, PhD, FACSM. The estate gift will provide for the creation of the endowed William S. and Joyce D. Quillen Physical Therapy Scholarship, in honor of his late wife.

The scholarship was created to provide significant financial support toward the success of a University of Central Arkansas physical therapy student with preference given to first-generation students demonstrating financial need.

William S. (Sandy) Quillen realized through his experiences as a practicing physician, a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy, and as an academic program administrator that there were segments of society which are just now gaining access to college. Which was why he wanted to establish a University of Central Arkansas scholarship for physical therapy students.

“They say opportunity knocks, but you’ve got to open the door – for better or worse I plowed ahead. It wouldn’t have happened without a lot of people having made a lot of investments in myself. This gift that my wife and I have made to UCA is one of the ways I can start to repay all that was done on my behalf,” Quillen says.

Quillen graduated from UCA with his Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy in 1977. The UCA Department of Physical Therapy began graduating students in 1972 as the first PT program in the state of Arkansas. The UCA physical therapy department will celebrate its 50th anniversary on April 29. More information on this event is available at

Among his many accomplishments, Quillen was one of the first American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties certified Sports Clinical Specialists (SCS), having served multiple years as both a member and as chair. He currently serves as a site visitor and member of the Accreditation Services Council of the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency & Fellowship Education.

“Dr. Sandy Quillen’s contributions to physical therapy and to PT education have been outstanding, far-reaching, and have positively impacted both the profession and the innumerable patients, students, and colleagues he has influenced across the U.S. and beyond,” says Dr Nancy Reese, dean of the UCA College of Health and Behavioral Sciences.

Now, Quillen hopes the University of Central Arkansas William S. and Joyce D. Quillen Physical Therapy Scholarship will give others a chance at the success he has achieved.