University of Arkansas alumnus Frank Fletcher and his wife, Judy, have committed $150,000 to the Walton College to create the Frank and Judy Fletcher Distinguished Lecture Series in Entrepreneurship.
Their gift counts toward Campaign Arkansas, the university’s $1 billion capital campaign.
The gift adds to the Fletchers’ extensive support of entrepreneurship at the U of A. In 2015, the couple donated $600,000 to establish the Frank and Judy Fletcher S.A.K.E. Fund for the entrepreneurial course known as Students Acquiring Knowledge through Enterprise.
“Judy and I are so very interested in the work Dr. Carol Reeves does with student entrepreneurship,” Fletcher said. “We wanted to add to our previous commitment to the university and help promote the Walton College.”
The Fletchers’ gift will provide funding for a public distinguished lecture series of three to five events per year and a monthly networking event. It will also fund a two-day leadership development and teambuilding workshop for Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub members. The Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub is an interdisciplinary collaboration venue, co-working space and training center for new and early stage entrepreneurs in Northwest Arkansas, as well as students, faculty and alumni. Students from the university will have the opportunity to learn about topics such as design thinking, accounting and legal issues in the real world, and experts will be invited to hold office hours so students can seek advice.
“Now entering its 21st year, SAKE has trained more than 700 students in all areas of running a business, from marketing to product development to accounting. It simply would not have been possible without Frank and Judy’s support over many years,” said Reeves. “With the opening of the Hub, we’re beginning a new chapter of entrepreneurship education and training at the university. The Fletchers’ support will help give our students access to world-class programs and introduce them to some of the most innovative people in the field, right here in Fayetteville.”
Frank Fletcher graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in marketing in 1963. He is a Golden Life member of the Arkansas Alumni Association, a member of the Chancellor’s Society and is chairman, chief executive officer and owner of the Frank Fletcher Auto Company and the Wyndham Riverfront Little Rock.