BENTONVILLE, Ark. (November 1, 2007) — The Wal-Mart Foundation has announced its first-year milestone in its “Strive for Excellence” partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF). The “Strive for Excellence” grant, totaling $1 million, was announced last year at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s 19th Anniversary Awards Dinner to benefit students attending public historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) nationwide. The funds, distributed over a three-year period, will support the organization’s merit and financial-based scholarship program for first-generation African-American college students attending TMCF member schools. To date, this program has awarded 14 scholarships to help students at various HBCUs, such as North Carolina A&T University, Morgan State University and South Carolina State University, pursue their higher education goals.
“At Wal-Mart, we recognize the benefits and importance of maintaining a diverse talent pool to fill our offices, stores and boardrooms,” said Esther Silver-Parker, senior vice president, Diversity Relations, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “Our Foundation’s support of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund is not only an extension of our commitment to the African-American community, but also exemplifies our dedication to ensuring that the next generation of young men and women are well prepared for the future. We congratulate the deserving students who received funding from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and we look forward to celebrating their accomplishments in the future.”
In TMCF’s 20-year history, it has provided more than $68 million in scholarships and programs enabling more than 6,000 students to graduate from college. Additionally, the Fund impacts more than 1,500 faculty and staff members annually at the 47 public HBCUs in 22 states with a population of over 232,000 students.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will sponsor the 20th anniversary of the 2007 TMCF Leadership Institute Recruitment Conference, to be held in New York on Nov. 2-5. The annual conference attracts top students from public HBCUs from across the country for leadership and career management training sessions taught by leading executives. The workshops enable students to bridge their academic achievements with necessary and meaningful skills for the workplace. Wal-Mart executives and representatives will participate in panel discussions and the annual career fair. Additionally, the company will sponsor several events during the conference, including the “Out in Front” Fashion show featuring exclusive Wal-Mart apparel lines.
Wal-Mart’s participation in the event assists the company in identifying talented individuals to join its ranks, as is the case with Jason Roop, an alumnus of North Carolina Central University, who currently serves as a manager in the Programmer for Point of Sale Store Strategies.
“Our 20th anniversary is a celebration of the many dreams we have helped deliver to deserving students at HBCUs nationwide,” said TMCF President and CEO Dwayne Ashley. “It is also a celebration of our extended partnerships that helps us make a difference in the lives of many young adults. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund is proud of our partnership with Wal-Mart, and our continued relationship allows us to work together to achieve a common goal.”
The Wal-Mart Foundation supports education at all levels nationally by awarding more than $6 million annually to graduating high school seniors throughout the country. The Wal-Mart Foundation has opened its application period for the Sam Walton Community Scholarships in all U.S.-based Wal-Mart stores, Sam’s Clubs and Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets. More than 7,000 scholarships are available to graduating high school seniors, who will receive a one-time scholarship of $1,000 to help pay for expenses at the accredited college or university of their choice.
Qualified students can obtain applications for the Sam Walton Community Scholarships at any Wal-Mart store, Neighborhood Market or Sam’s Club. Applications and additional information are also available online at
www.walmartfoundation.org. The deadline for submitting applications is Jan. 14. Recipients will be recognized in April.
Click here for additional information about Wal-Mart’s diversity and community support initiatives.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Every week, millions of 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 College Fund, Inc.
The Thurgood Marshall College 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. TMCF also provides internship programs and joins corporate and foundation partners in providing leadership training and support to students preparing for undergraduate and professional schools. TMCF is a 501(c) 3, tax-exempt organization. Visit the Thurgood Marshall College Fund at www.thurgoodmarshallfund.org.