Bear State Bank Supports Fleischer Spirit Scholars Program

Walton College Dean Matt Waller with Mort Fleischer and members of the summer 2016 Fleischer Scholars.
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Walton College Dean Matt Waller with Mort Fleischer and members of the summer 2016 Fleischer Scholars.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Bear State Bank of Little Rock is making a gift of $50,000 to the Fleischer Spirit Scholars Program at the University of Arkansas. The program fosters commitment and entrepreneurial growth for Arkansas communities. It was established by Morton H. Fleischer, co-founder and chair of STORE Capital Corp. (NYSE:STOR), to reach low-income, first-generation college students living in Arkansas who are interested in pursuing degrees in business.  

“We are thrilled that Bear State Bank is sponsoring an academic program that gives back to the community, creates local pride and supports individual growth for bright, promising students,” said Barbara Lofton, director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in the Sam M. Walton College of Business. “By investing in our students, Bear State is investing in Arkansas.”

The Fleischer Spirit Scholars Program enables high school juniors and seniors in Arkansas to attend a week-long summer bridge program while living in residence halls on campus. Those who enroll in Walton College also receive tuition support and mentorship for four years. Walton College hosts this program and provides programmatic support during the students’ summer stay and one-on-one partnership with student and faculty mentors during their undergraduate studies.

During the summer bridge program, Fleischer Scholars receive hands on learning opportunities with faculty and community business leaders. The program offers business startup and development steps in an academic setting to expose students to the business realm and allow them to explore potential career paths. It also includes college preparation courses with a focus on ACT college assessments. The students work collaboratively on case-study-driven projects that require the composition and presentation of business plans. They participate in workshops and hear from guest speakers from the local business community.

“The Fleischer Spirit Scholars Program is a unique program in that it offers a complementary blend of entrepreneurial education, business leadership and networking with both students and community business leaders,” said Matt Machen, president and CEO of Bear State Bank. “We are proud to support this distinctive program in order to provide a life changing educational experience to a student from Arkansas.”

Bear State Bank is the latest bank to commit scholarships for the program, joining four additional Arkansas banks – Signature Bank, Bank of England, Citizens Bank and First Arkansas Bank and Trust.

About Bear State Bank: Bear State Financial Inc. is the parent company of Bear State Bank, which is a community-oriented financial institution providing a broad line of financial products to individuals and business customers. Bear State Bank currently operates 48 branches and three loan production offices throughout Arkansas, Southwest Missouri and Southeast Oklahoma.

About Sam M. Walton College of Business: The Sam M. Walton College of Business is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in business education and research. Since its founding at the University of Arkansas in 1926, the Walton College has grown to become the state's premier college of business – as well as a nationally competitive business school. The Walton College is ranked 26th among public business colleges by U.S. News & World Report, which ranks the supply chain management/logistics specialty 14th among public business colleges.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Contacts

Rachel Moore, administrative support supervisor
University Relations
479-575-3918, rxm016@uark.edu

Jennifer Holland, director of development communications
University Relations
479-575-7346, jholland@uark.edu


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