Wal-Mart Awards $100,000 To Tavis Smiley Center For Professional Media Studies

Bentonville, Ark. (February 25, 2005) -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. today announced a grant for $100,000 to the Tavis Smiley Center for Professional Media Studies, further extending the scholarships for minority journalism students initiative the company launched to help increase diversity in the nation’s newsrooms.

The new Tavis Smiley Center for Professional Media Studies, on the campus of Texas Southern University (TSU), will help attract more minority students into the field of mass communications and give them top notch training.

“We firmly believe it is possible to increase diversity in newsrooms across the country,” said Mona Williams, vice president for corporate communications, for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “This grant helps us demonstrate our strong commitment to both diversity and education by helping to ensure talented college students who aspire to be journalists will have access to practical training internships, and state of the art facilities.”

“Through the Tavis Smiley Center for Professional Media Studies, we will accelerate our goal of preparing a multitude of students for rewarding careers in the wide-ranging and ever-evolving fields of print, broadcast and digital media,” said Texas Southern University President Dr. Priscilla Slade during the grand opening celebration of the KTSU/Tavis Smiley Center for Professional Media Studies building on February 24, 2005.

Education is a cornerstone commitment for Wal-Mart which proudly supports a variety of educational programs that celebrate teachers and help students of all ages and backgrounds achieve their dreams of going to college. Last year alone, Wal-Mart contributed more than $40 million to education initiatives and programs including the launch of the scholarship program for minority journalism students.

The award to the Tavis Smiley Center at TSU complements $500,000 Wal-Mart has awarded to journalism programs at the following 10 universities nationwide:  Arizona State University, Columbia University, Hampton University, Howard University, Northwestern University, Syracuse University, University of Florida, University of Missouri at Columbia, University of Southern California, and University of Texas at Austin. The universities were selected based on the quality of their journalism programs and student demographics.
For its fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2005, cash donations through Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and the Wal-Mart & SAM’S CLUB Foundation exceeded a record $170 million. Wal-Mart’s philanthropic efforts last year assisted more than 100,000 organizations, and overall, gave back $5 every second to support causes extending from disaster recovery efforts and educational initiatives to funding hospital equipment and treatment.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM’S CLUB locations in the United States. Internationally, the company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The company’s securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT.  More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com.

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