Walmart and the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation have teamed up to donate $1 million to fund the renovation and expansion of the current Sam M. Walton College of Business display, honoring Walmart’s founder, Sam Walton. Each organization donated $500,000 to update the display in the Business Administration Building on the University of Arkansas campus.
“These generous gifts will allow the University of Arkansas and the Walton College to create a world class tribute to its namesake, Sam Walton, who had a transformational impact on the business world, and our university,” said University of Arkansas Chancellor G. David Gearhart. “We are deeply grateful for these very significant gifts and I know our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends will enjoy learning more about his extraordinary legacy.”
The current exhibit is housed in a single display case in a secluded, low-traffic area of the building. The renovated tribute will highlight the Walton memorabilia over three levels of the building’s central stairway and atrium space and will include interactive displays, modern furnishings and high-quality lighting. The new space will be viewed by thousands of people each year.
“We are so pleased that this recognition of Sam Walton will be in the midst of the business leaders of tomorrow,” said Kaneaster Hodges, president of the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation. “We hope that it is an inspiration for all.”
In 1998, the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation gave $50 million to the then-named College of Business Administration. At the time of the gift, Helen R. Walton, the “first lady” of Walmart said: “This gift is about improving the lives of people through education, and we hope it will improve the lives of thousands of students in the state of Arkansas.”
In 2002, the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation again transformed the university with a gift of $300 million — the largest gift on record to American public higher education — during the billion-dollar Campaign for the Twenty-First Century.