BENTONVILLE, Ark., November 10, 2006 –Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.(NYSE: WMT) announced a $66,000 grant to the American Indian College Fund (AICF) in support of the Wal-Mart Tribal College Scholarship Program. The grant, announced at the American Indian College Fund Flame of Hope Gala in New York last night, will provide $66,000 to the nation’s 32 tribal colleges and universities.
As a long time partner of the AICF, this latest donation demonstrates Wal-Mart’s continued commitment to diversity, education and the American Indian community. Through its Associate Giving Campaign, Wal-Mart will also match any monies raised for the AICF up to $1 million. The partnership between Wal-Mart and the AICF began in 1999 and works to benefit American Indians throughout the country.
“Wal-Mart has taken an extraordinary step to help a community that has often in the past been overlooked,” said Richard Williams, president of the American Indian College Fund. “Wal-Mart and its associates are visionary in their support of American Indian students, through their contributions to the American Indian College Fund. We would like to thank Wal-Mart and all of its associates for helping us to make a difference in our student’s lives.”
Since 1989, the American Indian College Fund has awarded more than $45.6 million in scholarships and grants for American Indian students to attend the nation’s 32 tribal colleges and universities. A vast majority of tribal colleges are located on or near reservations and serve isolated areas—providing access to higher education for people who otherwise would not be able to advance beyond a high school diploma. Ninety-one percent of the scholarship recipients are “non-traditional” students—they have dependents, are older than 24, work full time—or are a combination of the three characteristics. In addition, 56 percent of tribal college graduates go on to a four-year institution, a far greater number than the transfer rate of community colleges in general.
“At Wal-Mart, we have a long standing commitment to supporting diverse communities through various efforts and initiatives,” said Ann Cato, vice president of Corporate People Division Administration for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Board of Trustees member for the AICF. “It is an honor for Wal-Mart to partner with the AICF to help provide higher education opportunities for
individuals within the Native American community who desire to go beyond the high school level, but may not have the financial means readily available.”
As the country’s largest private employer, Wal-Mart employs more than 1.3 million U.S. associates, including more than 16,000 Native Americans. In 2005, Wal-Mart’s Diversity Relations Department founded the Associate Resource Groups program in its home office to foster a sense of community among associates sharing similar backgrounds. “Tribal Voices,” the Native American Associates group, helps associates to stay connected with their rich cultural heritage. Externally, the company works with numerous Native American community leaders and groups including the Cherokee Nation, National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, National Indian Education Association, and Native American Chamber of Commerce, the Gathering of Nations, and the Native American Business Alliance.
Additional information about Wal-Mart’s charitable giving or diversity initiatives can be found at www.walmartfacts.com or
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
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.
The American Indian College Fund
The American Indian College Fund has spent more than a decade helping to increase educational opportunities for Native students. With its credo "educating the mind and spirit," the Fund is the nations largest provider of private scholarships for American Indian students, providing 5,000 scholarships annually for American Indian students seeking to better their lives through continued education. In addition to distributing scholarships to students attending tribal colleges across the country, the Denver, Colorado-based Fund also supports endowments, developmental needs and public awareness for the tribal colleges. Tribal colleges, commonly referred to as "underfunded miracles," serve more than 30,000 part-and full-time students, representing over 250 tribes. To learn more, visit www.collegefund.org, or www.collegefund.org/scholarships/main.html.