Helen Walton, widow of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, donate $20 million to the University of the Ozarks. The gift provides enhancements to the university’s academic programs and creates a Teacher Education Program of Excellence that emphasizes the links between teacher education and other academic disciplines at the university. The gift also builds up the general endowment to support all university departments. Specific elements of the gift include the creation of three new professorships and two new technical support positions, and the strengthening of one of the university’s existing professorships. The new faculty positions include professorships in science education, business education and computer sciences. The gift also provides an endowment for the chairman’s position in the teacher education division. The $20 million gift is the second-largest in the university’s 172-year history. This donation launches a broader fund-raising campaign in which the university will seek an additional $20 million in philanthropic support. The five-year, $40 million Promise of Excellence Campaign will fulfill key elements of the institution’s long-range strategic plan.

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