Walmart Foundation, Thurgood Marshall College Fund Team Up to Provide Scholarship Funding to College Students in Critical Times

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Contact: Will Davison Jr.
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Walmart Foundation, Thurgood Marshall College Fund Team Up to
Provide Scholarship Funding to College Students in Critical Times

Walmart grants $1 million to support scholarships for students attending public HBCUs

NEW YORK, November 12, 2009 – In response to the growing financial need of students and aligning with the goal to support first-generation student success, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is proud to partner with the Walmart Foundation to establish the “Walmart Foundation/TMCF First Generation Scholars Program.” The program is aimed at ensuring that current college students have the financial resources they need to continue through to graduation. The Walmart Foundation’s recent grant of $1 million to TMCF will help students attending public HBCUs across the country do just that.

“We are excited that the Walmart Foundation is committed to first generation students attending public HBCUs,” said Dwayne Ashley, President & CEO, Thurgood Marshall College Fund. “The Foundation has supported the Fund in the past and it has had a tremendous impact on retaining 148 talented students, 60 recipients being first-generation black males. This activity is bolstered by the fact that black male enrollment at TMCF colleges and universities are on the rise.  With this new gift, it will allow us to support first-generation college students in fulfilling their dreams of attaining a college degree.”

TMCF is committed to providing access to higher education, college readiness and career preparation for the 230,000 students attending its member institutions - 80% of the entire HBCU population. The Walmart Foundation grant will be used to continue to provide need-based merit scholarships to first-generation students attending any of the 47 public HBCUs in the TMCF pipeline. This offering will provide funding for 200 scholars to continue college.

“Education plays a valuable role in preparing the next generation of young scholars as they seek to meet the challenges ahead while making a positive impact in our communities and nation,” said Rollin Ford, Walmart’s executive vice president and chief information officer who serves on the TMCF board of directors. “Walmart is proud to do its part to ensure that many of the most talented students attending HBCUs receive the resources they need to achieve their educational dreams.”

Recipients of the Walmart Foundation/TMCF First Generation Scholars Program will benefit from TMCF’s range of programs including Leadership Institute, an annual four-day conference attended by as many as 600 pre-selected students from TMCF member universities and colleges. Through a series of workshops, plenary sessions and meetings, this conference provides targeted professional career development and training.

Additionally, TMCF will provide students resources to transition from high school to college and from college to the workforce. Students will receive face-to-face and online support through campus workshops, internships, online courses and mentoring. The Walmart Foundation/TMCF First Generation Scholars Program provides scholarships at a maximum of $4,400 per year.

For more information on the Walmart Foundation/TMCF First Generation Scholarship Program, please visit: www.thurgoodmarshallfund.org.


About Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Inc.
The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Inc., named for the late U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice, was established in 1987 and represents 47 public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and 6 law schools located in 22 states and the US Virgin Islands with a population of over 235,000 students. Over the last 21 years, TMCF has awarded more than $100 million in leadership development, programmatic and capacity support, and scholarships enabling more than 12,000 students to attend public HBCUs. It is the only national organization of its type that provides merit-based scholarships and programmatic support to students attending the nation’s public HBCUs. 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.

About Philanthropy at Walmart  
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on creating opportunities in education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. From February 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009, Walmart – and its domestic and international foundations – gave more than $423 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.