Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Continues Support of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund Through $1 Million Donation

Grant supports minority students’ pursuit of higher education


BENTONVILLE, Ark., October 24, 2006 – The Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club Foundation yesterday announced a $1 million grant to the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund (TMSF) to help provide deserving minority students access to higher education.  The grant, announced at the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund’s 19th Anniversary Awards Dinner, will be distributed over a three-year period to support the organization’s merit and financial-based scholarship program for African-American students.

As a long time partner of the TMSF, this latest donation demonstrates Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club’s ongoing commitment to diversity and education.  The “Striving for Excellence” grant will be used to assist students pursuing a degree in any discipline at one of the 47 TMSF-member historically black colleges and universities.   

“Ensuring our nation’s youth have access to higher education is a top priority at Wal-Mart,” said Rollin Ford, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. executive vice president and chief information officer and member of the TMSF board. “We are the organizations whose futures will be formed by the leaders TMSF member schools are creating in their classrooms today.  By guaranteeing they receive the proper education, we will ultimately benefit from a diverse pool of talent from which we will fill our offices, our stores or businesses, and our board rooms.” 

“Consistent with the philosophy of the Thurgoood Marshall Scholarship Fund, Wal-Mart knows and understands that there is no greater investment that we can make as a nation, than to ensure that the next generation of young men and women are well-educated and well-prepared to lead America into the future,” stated Dr. N. Joyce Payne, TMSF founder.  “Through their consistent generosity with countless gifts to educational organizations, Wal-Mart stands heads and shoulders above many, as they seek to provide opportunities to young people which directly translate into the launching of future world leaders.  We at the TMSF are grateful for the partnership with Wal-Mart.”

To date, the TMSF has awarded more than $50 million in scholarships, capacity-building and programmatic support.  More than 5,000 Thurgood Marshall Scholars have graduated from historically black colleges and universities and are making valuable contributions to science, technology, government, human service, business, education and various communities thanks to the support they received from TMSF.

“The Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund is extremely grateful to Wal-Mart for continuing to support the important work of the TMSF, and its ongoing work to prepare our best, brightest and most talented students for the changing and challenging global marketplace,” stated TMSF President and CEO Dwayne Ashley.  “The Wal-Mart commitment is evidenced by its philanthropic philosophy making it the largest corporate cash donor in America, and the TMSF is proud of the great relationship we have with this great American corporate success story.”

As part of the evening, Wal-Mart was also awarded the Community Leadership Award in honor of its outstanding community outreach.  In addition to the grant announcement, the company featured Wal-Mart apparel in the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund “Front Row: Celebrating the Spirit of Innovation in Fashion” show.  Wal-Mart also participated in the career fair and panel discussion.

As the country’s largest private employer, Wal-Mart employs more than 1.3 million U.S. associates including more than 150,000 Hispanics, 225,000 African-Americans, 815,000 women and 235,000 seniors who are 55 and older.  With efforts spearheaded by its Office of Diversity, Wal-Mart was named among Black Enterprise Magazine’s Top 30 Companies for Diversity; DiversityInc’s Top 10 Companies for African Americans; DiversityInc’s Noteworthy Companies for Diversity; and Black Collegian Magazine’s top 50 Diversity Employers in 2005 and 2006.

Additional information about Wal-Mart’s charitable giving or diversity initiatives can be found at www.walmartfacts.com or www.walmartfoundation.org. 

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Every week, more than 176 million customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, Sam’s Clubs or a subsidiary location in 15 countries around the world.  In each of the countries where Wal-Mart operates, the company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of operating globally and giving back locally.  Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to these local communities.  To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmart.com or www.walmartfoundation.org.

About the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, Inc.
The Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, Inc., named for the late U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice, is the only national organization of its type that provides merit-based scholarships and programmatic support to students attending the nation’s public historically black colleges and universities.  The organization also provides capacity building support to its 47 member schools.  TMSF also provides internship programs and joins corporate and foundation partners in providing leadership training and support to students preparing for undergraduate and professional schools. TMSF is a 501(c) 3, tax-exempt organization. Visit the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund at www.thurgoodmarshallfund.org.

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