The Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation, Fayetteville, has expanded its commitment to the UALR Nursing Program with the announcement of a $2 million endowment gift to perpetuate the Walker Nursing Scholarship Program.
The Walker Scholars Endowment, created with a $1 million gift in 2008, will expand the number of full scholarships awarded to nursing students to 10 and will create a new endowment scholarship fund for students pursuing a bachelor or science in nursing degree.
“We consider the UALR Nursing Program worthy of our support and are pleased with the partnership that has been established over the last six years,” said Debbie Walker, executive director for the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Trust. “We are pleased to partner with UALR in meeting the nursing needs of our state.”
The Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation began supporting the UALR Nursing program in 2004 with scholarships gifts. With the establishment of the endowment in 2008, UALR expanded efforts to graduate more nurses and establish partnerships that are providing professional placement opportunities for nursing graduates within Arkansas.
“The Walker Foundation has once again stepped up to help the UALR Department of Nursing at a time when there is a national need for more nurses and for better trained nurses,” said Dr. Michael Gealt, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. “This contribution of scholarship funds will help highly-qualified students get their education without incurring long-term debt. In my opinion, this is not only a gift to UALR, but to all of Arkansas”.
“The continued support of the Walker family impacts the lives of Arkansans,” said Chancellor Joel Anderson, “and is assisting our institution in meeting a critical need identified in the UALR strategic plan.”