Luther Lowe, an alumnus at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts (ASMSA), and director of public policy at Yelp Inc., made a US$10,000 gift in Bitcoin to his former high-school, according to an official announcement made by the educational institution.
Lowe graduated in 2001 from the ASMSA with a high-school diploma with a specialization in mathematics, but continued his involvement in his former high school's activities. In 2007, he was appointed to the school's Board of Visitors by Governor Mike Beebe, and served as board chair during the last year of his appointment.
- Mr. Lowe
The gift made by Yelp's executive was given to the ASMSA Foundation Fund. The ASMSA Foundation Fund is part of the University of Arkansas Foundation, and is a fund dedicated to the affiliated high school. "The Foundation Fund provide for student needs - everything from academics to medical assistance to prom and pizza for special occasions. The Foundation Fund also provides support for capital projects in the campus master plan," reads the official website.
It is the first time the University of Arkansas Foundation, Inc. is receiving a gift in Bitcoin, according to the announcement. In order to accept the gift, the institution created a Bitcoin wallet with Atlanta based Bitcoin payment solution provider BitPay. The amount in BTC were then converted to fiat currency and deposited in their bank account.
The $10,000 donation will be earmarked towards the creation of a computer science seminar focusing on Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and collective computing. The first course is said to be focusing on the subjects in Arkansas and the nation, and the class will feature an interdisciplinary approach to these topics. The fund will also support other programs related to computer science, as well as digital learning.
"Having graduated from the institution in 2001, I can attest to the fact that the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts (ASMSA) offers one of the best STEM programs for high schoolers in the United Stated. [...] I'm thrilled to support their continued development of innovative educational programs by endowing the creation of a cryptocurrency course to be offered in spring of 2015.
"Given the growing importance of bitcoin and the future applications of block chain, ASMSA students will gain incredibly valuable experience and knowledge in the early stages of this emerging field."
ASMSA director Corey Alderdice said the educational institution was "extremely fortunate to have alumni like Luther who are not only examples of how this experience positions students for leadership roles at the highest levels but are also interested in supporting the next generation of young Arkansans who are gaining invaluable academic and social experiences at ASMSA."
- Corey Alderdice
Lowe graduated in 2006 from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia with a Bachelor's degree in Government and Mathematics. He started working at Yelp Inc. in early 2008 as an account executive, and was assigned director of government affairs and business outreach in 2011.
Yelp Inc. is one of the biggest user-submitted review sites. In March, the company announced that Bitcoin acceptance was now listed for each business' page.
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