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Posted by DEAN SKIP RUTHERFORD - These cartoon prints were originally displayed on the walls of the Farkleberry Restaurant which opened in 1975 in the Regions Bank Building in downtown Little Rock. Public relations executive Ron Robinson proposed the Farkleberry Restaurant theme to bank chairman B. Finley Vinson.The Farkleberry, a bush which grows in the wild, was made famous by the late George Fisher, an award winning Arkansas Gazette cartoonist. The legend of the Farkleberry is based on a story about Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, who refused to let a Highway Department crew cut one down.
After the Farkleberry Restaurant closed in 1988, the late Jack Fleischauer of Regions Bank collected several of the prints and later donated them to the Clinton School. In tribute to Fisher, Farkleberry bushes are planted on the east side of the Clinton Presidential Park near the river. This rotating cartoon display honors Fisher, Fleischauer and the Farkleberry Restaurant (1975-1988).
Posted by DEAN SKIP RUTHERFORD – Clinton School alumnus Dr. Gary Wheeler has joined the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Board of Directors and we had the opportunity to visit after this morning’s meeting. In addition to his role as a practicing physician, Gary is also very involved in major health policy issues. For the children of Arkansas and America, both are good things because Gary is a real pro.
During our discussion Gary shared a very interesting fact: 116 members of Georgetown University’s recent graduating class (including Gary’s daughter) applied for Teach for America. This makes Teach for America the number one career choice for the Georgetown class of 2008. Apparently, this is true on several other college campuses as well. As we can tell by this statistic and by the large number of young voters now engaged in the political process, the commitment to public service is very much alive and well.
Clinton School students Sara Himelfarb and Sanford Johnson are Teach for America alumni and several Arkansas school districts are served by the Teach for America program. Clinton school students like Sara and Sanford, along with alums like Gary, are on the front lines helping others.
Posted by BEN BEAUMONT – With many top students taking big salaries to work for Wall Street hedge funds and consulting firms, The New York Times ran a story yesterday about increasing consideration of public service careers among Ivy League graduates these days. One Harvard professor has started a seminar to encourage students to connect their careers with personal aspirations, while Tufts University has started paying off college loans for students who choose to work in public service fields.
On other campuses as well, officials are questioning with new vigor whether too many top students who might otherwise turn their talents to a broader array of fields are being lured by high-paying corporate jobs, and whether colleges should do more to encourage students to consider other careers, especially public service.
As Adam M. Guren, a new Harvard graduate who will be pursuing his doctorate in economics, put it, “A lot of students have been asking the question: ‘We came to Harvard as freshmen to change the world, and we’re leaving to become investment bankers — why is this?’”
Read the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/23/education/23careers.html?_r=1&ref=education&oref=slogin
Posted by DEAN SKIP RUTHERFORD – Much has been written in the local and national press about Verizon’s purchase of ALLTEL, the nation’s fifth largest wireless phone company. There’s no doubt that Little Rock and Arkansas will suffer job losses as a result of this sale. While I regret that, it’s also appropriate to point out that since 1943 Allied (now ALLTEL) has served Arkansas well. A 1983 merger with Mid-Continent could have resulted in the relocation of the entire company to Ohio but due to the leadership and persistence of CEO Joe Ford the operations were ultimately placed in Little Rock. Since 1998, ALLTEL has acquired over a dozen other companies and over these 65 years (1943-2008) thousands of people have achieved professional success.
Let’s not take 65 years of jobs and corporate commitments for granted. Let’s not take the millions of dollars ALLTEL has given in charitable contributions to our city, our state and our region for granted either. Let’s not minimize the fact that Charles Miller, Hugh Wilbourn, Joe Ford, Scott Ford, Randy Wilbourn and many other ALLTEL staffers have played monumental roles in our city and state’s future over the years. Even though Bill Clinton and Joe Ford had political differences, when support for the Clinton Presidential Center was needed, Joe Ford stood tall. I will never ever forget it either. Neither will the people at UAMS and many other organizations who also saw ALLTEL and the Fords stand tall. Just days ago, Scott Ford made a major gift to Arkansas Baptist College in the heart of our inner-city. President Fitz Hill, I assure you, will never forget it.
I recently attended a performance at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. The night was underwritten by ALLTEL which in turn gave it to the Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) to sell the seats to benefit that worthy organization. VIPS doesn’t have a big budget so every dollar helps. ALLTEL was there to help. There are countless stories just like this one.
Yes, we’re going to miss ALLTEL, but at the same time, we should be saying thank you for 65 great years, including the generous contributions along the way that helped make our people better and the positive example the company set for others.
Posted by BEN BEAUMONT – Clinton School students Lukman Arsalan, Russ Swearingen and Penelope Sur joined her Her Royal Highness Princess Wiljdan Al Hasehmi, Ph.D. of Jordan at the opening reception of “Breaking the Veils: Women Artists from the Islamac World,” an exhibit currently on display at the Clinton Presidential Library. The exhibit is presented in cooperation with the ArtReach Foundation, Delta Air Lines, Royal Society of Fine Arts, Jordan and the Pan-Meditteranean women Artists Network, F.A.M.
Posted by BEN BEAUMONT – The Clinton School is hosting the 2nd annual Arkansas Puzzle Day on Saturday, June 28, featuring renowned crossword puzzle creator Merl Reagle. After a successful event featuring New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz last year, the Clinton School will again crown the state’s top crossword and sudoku puzzle champions. Click here for more on Puzzle Day.
Also, for a puzzle-related laugh, we thought we’d share this item from Reuters: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080611/od_nm/sudoku_dc.
Posted by DEAN SKIP RUTHERFORD-
In every profession sadly there are those who sit on the sidelines and criticize, complain and whine. That, however, takes no real talent. From experience, I’ve found that people who routinely criticize, complain and whine think more of themselves than they do of others. In the long run, even with incredible opportunities presented to them, whiners and floaters often end up asking “what happened” while others “make things happen.” Tim Russert must have seen that–thus the sign in his office.
Posted by student TIM GIATTINA – As part of my International Public Service Project in Shanghai, China, I recently had the opportunity to attend the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) Being Globally Responsible Conference 2008. The conference, touted as the largest student-organized Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) conference in the Asia Pacific region, brought together business leaders, academics, and students from around the world. For two days, attendees discussed how CSR should be integrated into the emerging business model of the 21st century global economy. For those unfamiliar, the host institution, CEIBS, boasts an MBA program ranked No. 1 in Asia and No. 11 worldwide based on rankings reported by Financial Times.
Throughout the sessions and speeches, the theme of “balance” was reiterated. How can the new business model reflect the optimal balance of creating profits while simultaneously promoting the common good? Clearly, there is no silver bullet, but it was encouraging to see so many current and future business leaders committed to working towards a more responsible global economy.
Strikingly, nearly all conference participants echoed that CSR, once viewed as detrimental to the cost structure and bottom-line of businesses, now represents a value-added asset that serves both shareholders and stakeholders. While recognizing merits of the Friedman model that prevailed to drive markets across the globe in the 20th Century, those at CEIBS continually stressed that the global business community is undergoing a paradigm shift. CSR is no longer just good public relations, but increasingly a necessity to running a healthy, profitable enterprise. Now more than ever, businesses must grasp the impact they have on all stakeholders and reflect this in their organizational framework.
The notion, once seemingly so foreign to capitalism — that business progress and social progress can exist symbiotically — is a refreshing prospect in the globalizing world. And with continued efforts from business schools and the corporate community, we can continue the progress toward making this prospect a reality.
Tim Giattina is a Clinton School student conducting a research project with the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, China.
Posted by DEAN SKIP RUTHERFORD – The sudden and tragic death of NBC’s Tim Russert has added a new perspective to Father’s Day this year. Russert, one of the greatest political journalists of our time, was also a devoted son and a loving father. Both survive him as does his wife and three sisters. Countless numbers of people who watched him on television are grieving.
While one would hope everyone could have the same wonderful bonds of the Russert family, we know that far too many are alone, lost, sad, orphaned, estranged and without a dad or father figure in their lives.
If you’re lucky to have or have had a father/child relationship like “Big Russ and Tim” or a father/child relationship like “Tim and Luke,” then count your blessings. I count mine every day. But don’t ever forget there are many among us who have not or who, like the Russert family, are hurting over the loss of a loved one. There are many this Father’s Day who would very much appreciate a visit, a phone call or an email letting them know that someone cares.
Happy Father’s Day.