Dickson Flake’s Daughter Creates Scholarship at UA Little Rock

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Leslye Shellam, daughter of L. Dickson Flake, has made a $100,000 donation to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to honor her father’s legacy in real estate.

Flake, who was one of four original partners of the predecessor to Colliers International of Bentonville, died on June 30 at the age of 81. His major projects include the 33-story Regions Center in Little Rock and J.B. Hunt Transport Services headquarters in Lowell.

Over a 55-year career, Flake played a role in several other major commercial projects in Arkansas, including Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield’s downtown Little Rock headquarters, the USAble Corporate Center, the Breckenridge Village shopping center, the Arkansas Department of Human Services downtown Little Rock headquarters, the Jones Eye Institute at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Simmons Bank Arena in North Little Rock

He was also a member of the UA Little Rock Board of Visitors for 12 years and served as its chairman in 1995 and 1996.

Flake’s daughter’s donation establishes the L. Dickson Flake Endowed Scholarship.

“My father saw a great future for Little Rock. He was an avid Trojan fan, loved the university, and loved the education prospects,” Shellam said in a news release. “His goal for the scholarship is to give students the chance to get creative and able to concentrate on his or her vision to bring the real estate industry forth for the city and for the good of all of us who live here.”

Undergraduate students pursuing a finance degree with an emphasis in real estate in the School of Business will be eligible for the new scholarship.

“This donation reflects the importance of real estate in the local economy and of having an excellent real estate program at UA Little Rock,” Mark Funk, chair of the Department of Finance, said in the release. “Enrollment in the real estate program has doubled in the past few years.”

The program, established in the 1970s but revised in 2016 with advice from the local real estate community, includes an advisory board formed in 2019. The board is composed of industry professionals who consult on curriculum development, serve as guest presenters/teachers in the classroom, open their businesses for educational field trips, serve as mentors, and provide internship opportunities for students.

Elizabeth Small, former president and CEO of PDC Companies and PDC Construction, serves as the primary instructor for the real estate program. She said in the release that Flake encouraged and congratulated her when she transitioned to teaching.