On Wednesday (Dec. 11), the Walton Family Foundation 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).
The 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,” said Chancellor G. David Gearhart. “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.”
The grant, the largest in university history going to diversity programs, will impact both 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 certain 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.
“Ensuring students from economically depressed areas of Arkansas, like the Delta, are supported in their academic careers is a top priority for CMDE,” said Charles Robinson, UA’s vice chancellor for diversity and community. “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.”