The Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas is joining forces with the Signature Bank of Arkansas to provide three college scholarships through the Fleischer Scholars program for disadvantaged students.
Signature Bank is funding $30,000 annually for five years to support tuition and educational expenses, as well as for a one-week residential summer camp to introduce students to college. Scholarship recipients must live in Arkansas, be first-generation college students with low-to-medium income, have received admission to the University of Arkansas, have demonstrated the ability to overcome obstacles and be motivated to learn.
“Our commitment to the Fleischer Scholars program is an investment in the future of our state and in the betterment of the communities that we serve,” said Gary Head, chairman, chief executive officer and president, Signature Bank of Arkansas. “My hope is that the Fleischer Scholars, supported by Signature Bank of Arkansas, will stimulate community revitalization and economic growth and that each student will return to their communities as role models, creating what Mr. Fleischer calls the human multiplier effect.”
The Fleischer Scholars program, created by Morton H. Fleischer, co-founder and chair of STORE Capital Corp. (NYSE: STOR), teaches entrepreneurship and innovation to first generation, low income and under-represented students. It also provides college scholarships to under-served youth. Fleischer first started the program at Arizona State University and began a second program at the University of Arkansas.
In July 2015, 39 entrepreneurial teens participated in the program at Walton College. Throughout the week, teens lived on campus, participated in business-focused activities, worked on a business plan case study and presented their team solutions.
“Of the 39 scholars participating in the program, 17 are attending the University of Arkansas this fall,” said Matthew A. Waller, dean, Sam M. Walton College of Business. “Walton College is prepared to mentor these students and provide support throughout their college experience. This innovative program is a transformational opportunity for students, Walton College and the state.”
The summer program prepares students for life on campus. Campers live in dorms and attend seminars and lectures. They hear from local business owners and attend workshops regarding business planning, research, marketing, social responsibility, accounting and finance. The program also includes college preparation classes, which focus on ACT college-readiness assessment testing. Faculty, staff and supporters of Walton College work directly with students during the week facilitating workshops, guest speakers and classes.
Once student scholars begin college classes, each is paired with student and faculty mentors to provide support and guidance. Participating banks in the program will offer summer internships to allow students to obtain professional work experience and earn funds to pay for additional college expenses.
About Signature Bank of Arkansas
Signature Bank of Arkansas was established in 2005 by a team of well-respected and experienced local bankers who had the dream of building a bank where decisions were made locally and in the best interests of not only the bank but customers and team members as well. With locations in Northwest Arkansas and Brinkley, Arkansas, each Signature Bank has a local board made up of individuals involved in their communities. The market boards provide insight and guidance to the bank. Learn more about Signature Bank at sbofa.com.
About Sam M. Walton College of Business
Since being founded at the University of Arkansas in 1926, the Sam M. Walton College of Business has grown to become a nationally competitive business school. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business – AACSB International – first accredited the college in 1931. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the Walton College in the top 30 among the nation’s public undergraduate business schools since 2004. The Walton College creates, applies and disseminates business knowledge using a diverse, inclusive and global perspective to encourage innovation in its primary strategic endeavors: Retail, Business Analytics and Entrepreneurship. Learn more about Walton College at walton.uark.edu.