Former Editor Remembered for Passion, Gentle Spirit


Jan. 9, 2020, Rebekah Harpool, a graduate of the 2018 class, died after being hit by a car in a University of Central Arkansas parking lot the previous night. Rebekah was a two year member of The Tiger newspaper staff and was very active in her community. 

Rebekah became a leader on staff as both the photography editor and the editor for the Voices section. 

“Rebekah always tried her hardest at whatever she did. Whether it was writing her column, editing stories, or helping layout pages, she put her commitments first and worked hard to produce a quality paper. She was a great writer, editor, and friend. We’ll miss her,” 2017-2018 executive editor Lauren Berry said.

“I never had Rebekah as a student, but when she began to lead Fellowship of Christian Students (FCS), the thing that I noticed about Rebekah was that she had this gentle spirit about her; you could tell everything she said was genuine and that she believed everything she said. She was an inspiration to me as a Christian because I knew what she was saying she believed to the core of her being,” English teacher and FCS sponsor Toni Hearn said. 

As one of the founding members of the FCS, Rebekah spent time with members, praying over any problem or situation they needed help with. During FCS meetings she led discussions over the meaning of different passages from the Bible and shared stories of her personal connection with God. Each meeting, she led a group prayer for those who needed help. She worked hard and strived to create a safe space for students to come and feel loved.

Rebekah was not only passionate about her faith, but also helping others. At UCA she was pursuing a degree in special education. While at Central, she spent every Friday eating lunch with special education students, listening to the stories of Central’s overlooked population. 

“She would a lot of times teach them a game or something that all of them could play. It meant the world to us,” special education teacher Barbara DeLoney said. “She was always dependable; she was always here.”

While a role model in choir, she made All-Region her senior year. She was a Presidential Scholar and was accepted into the Schedler Honors College at UCA, which is for those who are studying curriculums that emphasizes scholarship, leadership, and citizenship, preparing them for active involvement in civic life.  

“Rebekah was an incredible writer, student, and friend. She wrote with insight and maturity far beyond her years. I join with the entire 2017-2018 staff to mourn and celebrate the life of an amazing person,” former newspaper adviser Carol Holiman said.

Rebekah’s stories and columns are accessible in the print gallery or voices section.