LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – In celebration of the 66th anniversary of the Little Rock Nine’s desegregation of Little Rock Central High School, an endowment campaign has been created to honor the group’s legacy.

The campaign is being launched by the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas and ensures the group’s legacy continues in the form of scholarship support.

Little Rock Nine Foundation president Carlotta Walls LaNier said that the endowment is being created in recognition of the school’s public service work.

“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,” LaNier said. “The Clinton School prepares its students in the global arena and what better way to keep our story alive than through those we assist.”

The scholarship is the only scholarship that carries the group’s name and was initiated by the Little Rock Nine Foundation. Nearly $30,000 in scholarships have been awarded from the Foundation since 2015.

Lydia Grate, 2020 scholarship recipient, said that the scholarship is a powerful reminder of the doors that were opened for her by the Little Rock Nine.

“Being a Little Rock Nine Foundation Scholarship recipient is an honor,” Grate said. “In addition to providing much needed financial support for my studies, the scholarship is a powerful reminder of the doors that are open to me because of the legacies of Melba Pattillo Beals, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Gloria Ray Karlmark, Carlotta Walls LaNier, Terrence Roberts, Minnijean Brown Trickey, Thelma Mothershed Wair, and the late Jefferson Thomas.”

The Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas offers the nation’s first Master of Public Service degree, an action-oriented program focused on preparing students for the tough work of on-the-ground change.

“At the Clinton School, we believe that our common humanity is a powerful force for sustainable change,” Clinton School Dean Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto said. “There is no group that better embodies this ideal than the Little Rock Nine. We are proud to play a small role in continuing their legacy as leaders and trailblazers in the form of scholarship support. Sixty-six years from today and beyond, the scholarship that carries the Little Rock Nine’s name will live on at the Clinton School.”

To learn more about the endowment or to see how you can donate to the program, head to