News & Updates
News & Updates
MARCH 31, 2021
Razorback Foundation Receives $1,000,000 Challenge Gift From Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation, Inc.
FAYETTEVILLE – Today the Razorback Foundation announced the Walker Foundation Challenge Gift. The Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation will generously match all new gifts made to the Razorback Foundation – up to $1,000,000 – in support of the J.B. and Johnelle Hunt Family Baseball Development Center.
This approximately 52,000-square-foot facility will feature a new team locker room, a pro-player locker room, a team meeting room, pitching and catching development spaces complete with state-of-the-art technology and analysis equipment to help each player’s development, a nutrition bar, in-venue batting cages, and the Norm DeBriyn Champions Lobby which will highlight and profile the success of the program and its playmakers.
The Walker Family has a long-standing connection to Razorback baseball and Baum-Walker Stadium. The Walkers donated $1 million to jump start the construction of the stadium in 1994, and ultimately donated more than half the total cost of the project. In 2019, the Walker Foundation made a $5 million gift to launch the construction of the J.B. and Johnelle Hunt Family Baseball Development Center.
“The Walker Foundation’s support of the Arkansas Razorbacks, especially Razorback baseball, started when Johnny Mike played for legendary Coach Norm DeBriyn,” said Mandy Macke, Walker Foundation Executive Director. “As a former Razorback student-athlete, and avid Razorback fans, we are honored to give this gift that will help put the finishing touches on the nation’s best collegiate baseball stadium in the country.”
The matching gift will also pay tribute to the late Larry Shank, longtime Arkansas baseball public address announcer. Shank served as the “Voice of Razorback Baseball” for 18 years.
“As a former Razorback baseball student-athlete, Johnny Mike Walker knows the transformational impact that playing baseball at the University of Arkansas can have on the lives of young men,” said Hunter Yurachek, University of Arkansas Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics. “It is that commitment for making a difference and their enduring passion for the Razorbacks, that has inspired the Walker Family to step forward with a meaningful gift that encourages others to join in the team effort.”
“For decades, the Walker family and the Walker Foundation have played a pivotal role in building Razorback Baseball and positively impacting Arkansas Athletics and Razorback student-athletes,” said Scott Varady, Razorback Foundation Executive Director. “We are confident that Razorback Baseball fans will help meet the Walker Foundation Challenge by making gifts – whether large or small – that will be doubled in value and help ensure that Razorback student-athletes and the baseball program continue to compete successfully at the highest levels.”
Every gift made to the facility project will be matched by the Walker Foundation.
Fans can double their impact and make a tax-deductible donation to the project in various ways:
- Online at RazorbackFoundation.com
- Contact your Razorback Foundation representative or by calling 479-443-9000
- Text WALKER to 91999
Naming opportunities starting at $5,000 are also available.
ABOUT THE RAZORBACK FOUNDATION
The mission of The Razorback Foundation, Inc., is to support the athletic endeavors of the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. The Foundation assists Razorback student-athletes by providing financial support for scholarships, facilities and various programs that enable them to realize their dreams of achieving a quality college education while participating in athletics on a nationally competitive level.