Frank, Judy Fletcher Give UA $600K for Entrepreneurial Course

Frank, Judy Fletcher Give UA $600K for Entrepreneurial Course
Judy and Frank Fletcher

University of Arkansas alumnus Frank Fletcher and his wife, Judy, are providing $600,000 to establish the Frank and Judy Fletcher SAKE Fund in the Sam M. Walton College of Business.

SAKE is an abbreviation for the entrepreneurial course known as "Students Acquiring Knowledge through Enterprise."

SAKE operates in the Walton College as an entrepreneurial practicum course. The course allows students to participate in the accounting, marketing and sales, customer service and operations of ForeverRed, a student-led company that sells Razorbacks-branded products.

SAKE students have been able to travel to China, Tunisia, Costa Rica and Belize. The class has received two national awards for innovation in entrepreneurship teaching.

"SAKE is important to the continued success of the Walton College’s entrepreneurship initiative, which is one of the most important strategic pillars of the college," said Matt Waller, interim dean of the Walton College.

Fletcher completed his bachelor of science in business administration in 1963 at UA.

"I think Carol Reeves is the most interesting teacher I have ever come in contact with," Fletcher said. "She loves to really prepare her students for the real business world and uses more than just a typical book and lecture style. We both like to give up and coming entrepreneurs a taste of the real world and the actual challenges they will face."

Entrepreneurial teams coached by Reeves, a Walton College professor of management and the university’s associate vice provost for entrepreneurship, have won numerous academic competitions and helped create new Arkansas businesses. 

The Frank and Judy Fletcher SAKE Fund will provide support to create a new class — SAKE Innovations — and to allow professional management of ForeverRed. The fund will also support new product development for the class; professional support in accounting and technical enablement, such as website design and maintenance; and student internships, particularly in start-up businesses. 

"Judy and I want SAKE to grow and expand in many ways," Fletcher said. "We want more students to have the chance to experience ‘real business’ while they’re in college."