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Walton Family Foundation Announces Grant to Support Northwest Arkansas Community College Foundation Master Plan

April 23, 2024
The project addresses the college's current and future needs to advance its mission of empowering students and strengthening the community

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (April 23, 2024) – The Walton Family Foundation announced it will support the NorthWest Arkansas Community College Foundation as part of its Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program. This initiative will provide critical support in the search for a qualified firm to develop a campus master plan for the Bentonville NorthWest Arkansas Community College Campus. As part of the grant, the community college and its selected consultant will engage stakeholders, analyze regional data and consider future development and community needs to create a forward-thinking master plan. This initiative will address current needs while anticipating future growth, fostering an optimal learning environment while empowering students and strengthening the community.

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“This project represents an expansion of the Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program, which we’ve recently broadened to include land-use planning as a discipline,” said Meredith Bergstrom, program officer at the Walton Family Foundation. “By supporting a campus master plan for NorthWest Arkansas Community College, we can help create an environment that fosters learning in an extraordinary setting and support the college’s ability to respond to the needs of the Northwest Arkansas community.”

Established in 2015, the Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program promotes the highest level of design in the development of future public buildings and spaces in Benton and Washington counties. The selection of its design professionals and projects is guided by four key principles: a commitment to strengthening public life, elevating standards of sustainability and resilience, celebrating local cultures and places, and building regional capacity.

"As our community expands, it's vital that NWACC evolves in step to meet the changing needs of our residents,” said Mat Mozzoni, NWACC Foundation president. “We are thrilled to embark on a master planning process that promises to align the college's growth with our community’s aspirations and enable us to serve and empower future generations, ensuring a thriving educational environment for all."

NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) is a comprehensive, public two-year college that serves and strengthens the community through learning for living. Enriching nearly 17,000 lives annually through credit and non-credit offerings, this institution of higher education excels in providing community, transfer and workforce education in a learning-centered environment.

“A special thanks to the Walton Family Foundation for being a visionary catalyst, inspiring NorthWest Arkansas Community College to think bolder about how we can better serve the current and future needs of our students and community members,” said NWACC President Dr. Dennis C. Rittle. “The foundation’s act of kindness and pursuit of excellence reminds us how vitally important partnerships are to sustainable success.”

For more information about the Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence program, visit

About the Walton Family Foundation

The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family-led foundation. Three generations of the descendants of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, and their spouses, work together to lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving Education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.