New Endowment Supports Diversity Efforts at School of Law

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas School of Law alumnus and Walmart executive Jeff Gearhart and his wife, Lisa Gearhart, have created an endowed fund to enhance academic and professional development opportunities that advance diversity in the legal profession. The Gearhart Family Endowed Diversity Support Initiative was established through a $200,000 gift from the couple.

“We are extremely grateful to the Gearharts for their support of the law school and their commitment to making a positive impact on the legal profession as a whole,” said Stacy Leeds, dean of the School of Law. “This new endowment will help us attract and retain outstanding students and empower underrepresented communities throughout our state and nation.”

The initiative will support programs such as internships, student travel to conferences and competitions, and expanded diversity education. It will complement existing diversity initiatives at the School of Law such as the LSAC Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program, and the Native Youth Leadership Summit. 

“Lisa and I are honored to be able to support the School of Law’s continuing diversity initiatives. At Walmart, diversity has been a key initiative for our legal department and our company, and it is very gratifying to know that it is also so important to the school that I care so much about,” Gearhart said.

Jeff Gearhart is a 1989 graduate of the School of Law and a 1986 alumnus of the Sam M. Walton College of Business. While at the School of Law he served as an editor of the Arkansas Law Review and graduated with high honors. Currently he serves as executive vice president of global governance and corporate secretary of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. He is responsible for oversight of the company’s global legal, compliance, ethics and security and investigative functions, among others. Lisa Gearhart is pursuing her bachelor’s degree at the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. 


Andy Albertson, senior director of communications
Research and Economic Development


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