Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Little Rock Nine: Paying it forward

Posted By on Thu, Sep 12, 2013 at 10:20 AM

NINE'S MONUMENT: The Little Rock Nine, who desegregated Central High in 1957 with help of federal troops, now are focusing scholarship support on the Clinton School of Public Service.
  • NINE'S MONUMENT: The Little Rock Nine, who desegregated Central High in 1957 with help of federal troops, now are focusing scholarship support on the Clinton School of Public Service.

The Little Rock Nine Foundation has established a scholarship fund at the University of Arkansas School of Public Service.

The Foundation was established in 1997 and since then has awarded scholarships to 60 students, but now will make the Clinton School its focus.

"Because of our great appreciation for President Clinton, and in recognition of the extraordinary public service work performed by Clinton School students, we have now decided to make the Clinton School our educational philanthropic focus," said Carlotta Walls Lanier, the foundation's spokesperson. "The Clinton School prepares its students in the global arena and what better way to keep our story alive than through those we assist."

Full release:

The Little Rock Nine Foundation, which has awarded scholarships to deserving young people for the past 16 years, has set up a scholarship fund at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service to continue the foundation's legacy. The Foundation was established in 1997 and since that time has awarded 60 college scholarships to high school students all over the United States.

"Because of our great appreciation for President Clinton, and in recognition of the extraordinary public service work performed by Clinton School students, we have now decided to make the Clinton School our educational philanthropic focus," said Carlotta Walls Lanier, the foundation's spokesperson. "The Clinton School prepares its students in the global arena and what better way to keep our story alive than through those we assist."

Nine African American students—Lanier, Melba Pattillo Beals, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Gloria Ray Karlmark, Terrence Roberts, Minnijean Brown Trickey, Thelma Mothershed Wair and the late Jefferson Thomas became known as the Little Rock Nine when they integrated Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The resistance of Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus and protests by large groups of segregations forced the intervention of President Dwight Eisenhower who the sent the military's finest, the 102 Airborne Division, to protect the students.

It was an historical moment and was the first the time the President of the United States sent the military to enforce a United States Supreme Court order, in this case the historic Brown v. The Board of Education decision.

"We are honored and are most grateful to the Little Rock Nine for the establishment of this scholarship fund," said Clinton School Dean Skip Rutherford. "Over the years the Little Rock Nine—as a group and individually—have participated in Clinton School programs and met with our students. Spirit Trickey, the daughter of Minnijean Brown Trickey, is one of our graduates."

The Clinton School is the nation's first to offer a Master of Public Service (MPS) degree. It is located on the campus of the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in downtown Little Rock.

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