On the 66th anniversary of the Little Rock’s Nine desegregation of Little Rock Central High School, the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas is launching an endowment campaign to ensure the group’s legacy continues in the form of scholarship support.
“Because of our great appreciation for President Clinton, and in recognition of the extraordinary public service work performed by Clinton School students, we have now decided to make the Clinton School our educational philanthropic focus,” said Carlotta Walls Lanier, the foundation’s spokesperson. “The Clinton School prepares its students in the global arena and what better way to keep our story alive than through those we assist.”
The Little Rock Nine Scholarship at the Clinton School was established in 2013 by Dean Emeritus James L. “Skip” Rutherford III and the Little Rock Nine Foundation. It is the only scholarship that carries the group’s name and was initiated by the Little Rock Nine Foundation.
Nearly $30,000 in scholarships have been awarded from the foundation since 2015.
This endowment campaign will ensure that the Little Rock Nine Scholarship carries on in perpetuity, and that the group’s courage continues to serve as inspiration for future generations of public service leaders.
“At the Clinton School, we believe that our common humanity is a powerful force for sustainable change,” said Dean Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto. “There is no group that better embodies this ideal than the Little Rock Nine. We are proud to play a small role in continuing their legacy as leaders and trailblazers in the form of scholarship support. Sixty-six years from today and beyond, the scholarship that carries the Little Rock Nine’s name will live on at the Clinton School.”
Nine teenagers – Melba Pattillo Beals, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Gloria Ray Karlmark, Carlotta Walls LaNier, Terrence Roberts, Minnijean Brown Trickey, Thelma Mothershed Wair, and the late Jefferson Thomas – became civil rights icons known as the Little Rock Nine when they integrated the all-white Little Rock Central High School on September 25, 1957.
The Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas offers the nation’s first Master of Public Service degree, an action-oriented program focused on preparing students for the tough work of on-the-ground change.
While learning valuable lessons in the classroom, MPS students complete three for-credit public service projects ranging from local work in Arkansas communities to international projects across the world.