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Governor Beebe joins Wal-Mart to present $369,000 donation to ABI, ASU

Sept. 5, 2008 -- Wal-Mart Foundation today announced a $369,000 donation to the Arkansas Biosciences Institute at Arkansas State University in the Governor’s Conference Room. The donation will be used to meet the cost share requirement for a U.S. Department of Energy grant awarded to the university.

Dr. Robert L. Potts, Dr. Elizabeth Hood, Governor Mike Beebe, Tony Fuller, Laurie Smalling, and Dr. Glen Jones receive a grant check from Wal-Mart.

“The level of confidence in ASU-Jonesboro shown by the Wal-Mart Foundation is very gratifying,” commented Dr. Robert L. Potts, chancellor of ASU-Jonesboro. “Dr. Elizabeth Hood’s research into new biofuels technology has the potential to contribute to the development of a knowledge-based economy in Arkansas. We are extremely grateful for the generosity and visionary spirit demonstrated by these gifts from the Wal-Mart Foundation.”

This funding opportunity from the U.S. Department of Energy requires a minimum non-federal cost-share of 20 percent to develop the technology to enable the biomass-to-ethanol industry.

“Wal-Mart has a proven record of making charitable contributions that support initiatives in education, economic opportunity, the environment, and health and human services,” commented Dr. Les Wyatt, president of the Arkansas State University System. “These initiatives coincide extremely well with the statewide mission of the Arkansas Biosciences Institute at ASU. We appreciate these gifts very much.”

The Arkansas Biosciences Institute (ABI) at ASU-Jonesboro is pursuing the commercialization of biobased product development built upon our state’s agriculture and forestry resources.

“ASU is in a position to perform significant research into technology that will benefit bio-fuel production,” said Dr. Elizabeth Hood, Distinguished Professor of Agriculture at ASU-Jonesboro. “This could provide farmers with additional income and a further benefit could help the U.S. reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

The Wal-Mart grant will support research focused on making ethanol from plant stalks and leaves, agricultural residues and forestry residues.

“Wal-Mart is committed to exploring innovative fuels and finding viable alternatives to fossil fuels,” said Laurie Smalling, senior manager of public affairs at Wal-Mart.

“Arkansas State University’s research efforts are in line with our commitment to encourage energy independence in our country.”

At Wal-Mart, being an efficient and profitable business and being a good steward of the environment are goals that work together. Emerging alternative fuels, such as cellulosic ethanol, algal biodiesel and hydrogen, offer promise to help meet our future transportation energy demands.

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam’s Club locations in the United States. The Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom and, through a joint venture, in India. The Company's securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting Online merchandise sales are available at and

About Arkansas Bioscience Institute

The Arkansas Biosciences Institute (ABI) encompasses collaborative research efforts of five institutions through agricultural and medical research in order to improve the health of Arkansans. The ABI was created as the major research component of the Tobacco Settlement Proceeds Act of 2000 (sometimes referred to as Initiated Act I), which was approved in general election by 64% of Arkansas voters. Scientists from the five member campuses - Arkansas Children's Hospital: Arkansas State University; the University of Arkansas-Division of Agriculture; the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences - focus on agriculture and basic and clinical science research that will lead to health improvement, especially in the area of tobacco-related diseases. This joint venture in science research will strengthen all participating ABI partners by enhancing collaborations in the common research areas of agriculture, bioengineering, tobacco-related illnesses, nutrition and related science, and other complementary fields. The ABI partners will be expected to leverage their research funding to generate additional research dollars from national and philanthropic sources, some of which are only available by conducting collaborative research.           



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