Saturday, November 12, 2016

EDITORIAL >> A Jersey cow pays dividends

Jacksonville banker Larry Wilson and his wife Wendy, his sons Patrick and Mark and his sister Kathy Roberts helped kick off a generous scholarship program Wednesday at Jacksonville High School in partnership with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, which will allow dozens of students to attend college.

Jacksonville Promise, the new cooperative program between Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District and UALR, aims to make college affordable to qualifying students.

The Wilson Charitable Trust will provide $25,000 worth of $500 to $1,000 grants to help with books or other items in the program’s first year.

Larry Wilson recalled how his father, Kenneth Pat Wilson, attended the University of Arkansas after his father sold the family’s Jersey cow so he could go to Fayetteville, earn a college degree and later found First State Bank of Jacksonville, now First Arkansas Bank.

Wilson said his family foundation could help 25 to 50 students. “We have committed for the first year,” he said. “This program makes it possible for you to go to college. We’re providing you the cow.”

Almost every student needs a helping hand to attend college. Not many families can sell a cow to pay for a college education these days, but that old Jersey cow is still paying dividends four generations later. Thank you, Wilson Charitable Trust.