The Walton Family Foundation has announced a $2.1 million grant to the University of Arkansas to fund several programs within the College Access Initiative and the Center For Multicultural and Diversity Education (CMDE).
These funds will directly benefit students from Phillips County, Arkansas, and those who have graduated from public charter schools around the state.
“We are so grateful to the Walton Family Foundation for this wonderful gift,” Chancellor G. David Gearhart said in the statement issued Wednesday (Dec. 11). “The university is very committed to securing more opportunity for these very deserving students, but we cannot make the impact that we want without the help of our generous donors.”
This grant, the largest in university history going to diversity programs, will impact current and future university students. As part of the program, university officials will expand ACT training for high school students and will also increase recruiting efforts at these schools. Additionally, students who are admitted to the university will be eligible for tutoring, mentoring and summer enrichment programs designed to increase both retention and graduation rates.
Charles Robinson, the university’s vice chancellor for diversity and community, said the grant will help the economically depressed areas of Arkansas.
“This gift will allow our team to build relationships with these students and their school administrators while the students are still in high school in an effort to ensure long-term success. This is a great win for the university and our current and future students,” Robinson said.