The Arkansas Realtors Association is advancing real estate education at the U of A with a $250,000 gift to the Sam M. Walton College of Business. The investment will establish the Arkansas Realtors Association Endowed Excellence Fund in Real Estate.
“We are grateful to the Arkansas Realtors Association for this exceptional gift,” said Scott Varady, vice chancellor for advancement. “This is an investment in the resources necessary to educate and empower U of A students to excel as professionals in the real estate industry throughout Arkansas.”
The endowment will be used to attract real estate focused students in the Department of Finance, support student internships and scholarships, sponsor the development of real estate curriculum and the Real Estate Club, and fund student research in real estate.
“The goal is to better reach students while they’re in the program and to connect them to an organization designed to help them develop as professionals,” said Dale Carlton, instructor of real estate finance. “The college is pushing for real estate to be recognized as a professional degree available immediately out of college, done with a sense of ethics and a desire to promote the business of real estate to its highest ethical standard,” Carlton added.
The Arkansas Realtors Association comprises licensed real estate agents focused on real estate education, promoting best practices for the profession and developing ethical principles within a real estate practice. The group’s goal is to develop the skills of realtors, guide them as professionals and advance the profession.
Carlton, who is also a realtor and lawyer, serves as a Zone 1 district vice president for the Arkansas Realtors Association and saw an opportunity to enhance undergraduate real estate education at Walton College. "The association’s Board of Directors was excited for the opportunity to invest in the need and practicality for enhanced real estate curriculum at the college,” Carlton stated.
Paulette Richie, current president of the Arkansas Realtors Association, played an especially pivotal role in establishing the fund. Carlton said the gift would not have happened without her leadership and support. Richie has been a designated executive broker at Coldwell Banker Rector Phillips Morse in Little Rock since 2008.
Walton College experienced record-breaking enrollment numbers in recent years, creating a demand for additional faculty. The Department of Finance provides real estate instruction, including courses on real estate principles, real estate finance and investment, and real estate appraisal.
Graduates of the program complete 45 hours of the 60-hour license education requirement for real estate salesperson applicants by the Arkansas Real Estate Commission, the government-sponsored licensing entity for prospective Arkansas realtors. There are currently licensed real estate professionals enrolled in the program.
About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the few U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research and Economic Development News.
About University Advancement: University Advancement advances the mission of the University of Arkansas by raising private gift support from alumni, friends, parents, foundations, corporations, and other institutional supporters. Working in philanthropic partnership with academic leaders and volunteers, Advancement team members are determined to advance the people, work, and impact of the greater whole at the University of Arkansas.
Mark Camarigg, content writing manager
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