Arkansas State announces $5M endowment

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – An Arkansas State University alumnus has established a multi-million dollar endowment.

ASU representatives announced Wednesday that alumnus Neil Griffin has set up a $5 million scholarship endowment fund. This is the largest endowment fund in the university's history. "After about four months of conversation, we settled in on starting what we're calling the Griffin Scholars," said Cristian Murdock, ASU Vice Chancellor for University Advancement.

Arkansas State University Chancellor Tim Hudson made the gift announcement at the Cooper Alumni Center at 1 p.m.

Griffin, a 1948 ASU graduate told a crowd of about 200 people today he wanted to establish the Griffin Scholars Endowment Fund because he believes education is a cornerstone for the opportunities available to young people.

"Education is the only way to really fully participate in this great country of ours, and that's why I'm so passionate about helping those who may be not able to afford that," he said.

Griffin graduated from Nettleton High School and was the first member of his family to go to college. He graduated from ASU with a bachelor of science degree in business administration. He now lives in Kerrville, Texas. After careers in accounting and banking, Griffin spends his semi-retirement investing and doing philanthropic work.

"As an entrepreneurial guy, I've just been fortunate to make a lot of money, and take care of my family and do a lot of things like this."

Region 8 students get first priority in applying for the scholarship. First preference is given to students who score 30 or above on the ACT.  Second preference is given to students who score 27 to 29. Students who are Pell Grant eligible are priority applicants.

Griffin said his only regret is that he did not come back to ASU come back sooner.

"I'm sorry that I'm so late getting here in my life, but I'm glad to be part of it.

For more information about the Griffin Scholars Endowment Fund, call the Arkansas State University Finance and Administration office at (870) 972-2024.

What the scholarship covers:
  • Tuition, fees, on-campus housing and books for up to 18 credit hours per semester; a stipend is available for juniors and seniors to study abroad for a semester

Who qualifies:

Students who are permanent residents of Arkansas and the following counties in Missouri:

  • Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dent, Dunklin, Howell, Iron, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Oregon, Pemiscot, Reynolds, Ripley, Scott, Stoddard, Shannon, Texas or Wayne

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