Colliers Arkansas $25,000 Donation Points to Industry Support of Real Estate Program at UA Little Rock

Leslye Shellam, left, daughter of L. Dickson Flake, talks with UA Little Rock business student Stephen Malec, right, and Elizabeth Small, center, primary instructor for the UA Little Rock Real Estate program. Malec is the first student to receive the new L. Dickson Flake Endowed Scholarship. Photo by Ben Krain.

Colliers Arkansas has made a $25,000 donation for a University of Arkansas at Little Rock scholarship established in honor of Colliers Arkansas Co-Founder L. Dickson Flake.

The gift from Colliers Arkansas brings the L. Dickson Flake Endowed Scholarship to more than $230,000, which allows for more scholarships to be awarded in the fall for UA Little Rock students pursuing an education in finance and real estate. 

“Dickson Flake was truly a legend in the Arkansas business community. I was fortunate to be hired by him in 1993 as I was finishing graduate school at UA Little Rock,” said Kevin Huchingson, CEO and chairman of Colliers Arkansas. “He was my mentor and close friend throughout the rest of his life. Dickson established our firm’s foundation and principles, the core values that have guided our firm for 50 years. He valued education and loved to hire students from UA Little Rock and within the state. Dickson believed that knowledge and integrity were essential to advising our clients. This endowed scholarship will ensure that his teachings and values live on through even more generations of real estate professionals in our state.”

Flake’s daughter Leslye Shellam created the scholarship last year with a donation of $100,000 after family friends said that her father would want his legacy to promote education.

“My dad was known for education,” Shellam said. “Whenever you ask someone what they remember about dad, besides his interest and devotion and dedication to education, they all had their little nicknames for him. They had something to do with him being the wise one, the perceptive one, and the teacher. This scholarship is carrying on what’s important to my father. I think this scholarship is going to be around for a lot of years to come and help a lot of people.”

Flake, who passed away last year at the age of 81, was well known in the Little Rock real estate community. In 1971, Dickson joined three partners to form Barnes, Quinn, Flake and Anderson, predecessor of the Little Rock – Bentonville commercial real estate firm of Colliers Arkansas, which is now the largest commercial real estate company in the state.

“What a lot of people don’t know about Dickson is he basically created the commercial real estate industry in Little Rock,” said Isaac Smith, president of Colliers Arkansas. “Prior to Dickson, nobody was doing what we were doing today. There were appraisers and residential realtors, but he was the first to add a value service to people who were wanting to develop buildings and buy and sell buildings. He was an absolute pioneer in the Little Rock commercial real estate industry.”

The endowment is expected to provide almost $10,000 per year for the scholarship. It will be used to provide assistance for education-related expenses, including tuition, books, fees, and room and board, for undergraduate students pursuing a finance degree with an emphasis in real estate in the School of Business.

The first recipient of the scholarship is Stephen Malec, a senior finance major with concentrations in real estate as well as financial services and risk management. Shellam presented Malec with the scholarship Feb. 23 at UA Little Rock Downtown.

“As the first recipient of this generous award, I am excited to see this scholarship award continue for many years to come,” Malec said. “This generosity and support for the School of Business and the Real Estate Finance program is admirable and greatly appreciated. My family and I are extremely grateful for this generosity on behalf of the family of Dickson Flake, I am further inspired to achieve my goals and pursue my dreams. I greatly appreciate this tremendous support.”

At UA Little Rock, Flake served as a member of the Board of Visitors for 12 years and served as chairman from 1995 to 1996. UA Little Rock began the real estate program in the 1970s and began revising the program in 2016 with advice from the local real estate community. The rapid endowment of this scholarship shows the importance of real estate in Little Rock.

“Dickson Flake’s legacy runs throughout our entire region and beyond the borders of Arkansas,” said Elizabeth Small, primary instructor for the real estate program. “He was always in ‘teaching mode,’ and he would be very happy to know students in the UA Little Rock Real Estate Program will benefit with this scholarship opportunity. Current and future students will want to know the many accomplishments of such an industry giant and this will not be hard to share. Dickson touched many lives through words of wisdom, and he took the time to show concern for our region’s future. Emulating the value system of such a pragmatist will be a great lesson for all real estate students.”

UA Little Rock and Colliers have a continuing effort to grow the L. Dickson Flake Endowed Scholarship to $300,000 by the end of the year.

In the upper right photo, Leslye Shellam, left, daughter of L. Dickson Flake, talks with UA Little Rock business student Stephen Malec, right, and Elizabeth Small, center, primary instructor for the UA Little Rock Real Estate program. Malec is the first student to receive the new L. Dickson Flake Endowed Scholarship. Photo by Ben Krain.

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