University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business


Mission, Vision and History


The mission of the Sam M. Walton College of Business is to advance and disseminate business knowledge using a diverse, inclusive, and global perspective and to encourage innovation in our primary strategic endeavors: Retail, Data Analytics, and Entrepreneurship.


Excellence: We are driven to be the best in everything we do.

Professionalism: We operate with integrity, humility, respect, and inclusion.

Innovation: We imagine possibilities, we create, and we inspire others.

Collegiality: We respect each individual, we value our differences, and we welcome all.

Be Epic.


Through our teaching, research, and service, the Sam M. Walton College of Business will be a thought leader and a catalyst for transforming lives in Arkansas, the United States and the world.


Historical Timeline



The School of Business Administration opens it's doors on the 3rd floor of Old Main.

Charles C. Fichtner, the first dean, presides over 21 students, and four faculty members.

The School offers thirty-six courses in business administration, economics and sociology.

Curricula are available in accounting, banking and finance, general business, industrial management and marketing.

commerce building ozark hall 1928


The School of Business moves to the old College of Engineering building, which is renamed the Commerce Building

business classes in the commerce building


Master of Science in Business Administration (MSBA) program established

Old Main


American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business Administration (now titled the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business – AACSB International) accreditation is awarded to the undergraduate degree program.

School of Business renamed the College of Business Administration

Tuition: $25/semester

Beta Gamma Sigma Arkansas


A University of Arkansas Alpha chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma is founded, the oldest and most prestigious academic honor society for business students.

Commerce Guild Ticker


The Guild Ticker, a publication established by the Commerce Guild, is also known as the Ticker. Although its purpose is primarily for students, it is sent to various industries in Arkansas. The Commerce Guild and Guild Ticker continue to be a tradition until the mid-1960s.



Bureau for Business and Economic Research is formed, to engage in grants and contracts for federal, state and local government research and to provide support for faculty research.

Dean Paul Milam


Paul W. Milam becomes Dean of the College of Business.

women students


Wartime enrollment dips to 195, down from approximately 500 business students in 1941.

Female business students outnumber male students 2:1 during the 1944-45 school year.

Neil Martin World War Pilot


Post-war enrollment exceeds 700 students for the 1946-47 school year.

Among 700+ students, 420 are returning veterans.



Doctor of Philosophy in economics established

MSBA degree re-designated as Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Doris Cook


The Alpha Iota Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, an honorary accounting fraternity, is installed by Professor Doris Cook.

Harold Dulan


Finance Professor Harold A. Dulan, Law Professor E.J. Ball, and MBA graduate Lewis Callison create the nations first commercial variable annuity life insurance company and sell the first commercial variable annuity ever offered to the U.S. public.



Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration established

registration 1963


MBA degree accredited by the AACSB during the first year of accreditation of any masters program.

Dean John P Owen


John P. Owen becomes Dean of the College of Business

Raymond Rebsamen


Professor Robert Kennedy starts portfolio management class with $100,000 fund established by Raymond Rebsamen. It becomes one of the oldest, best funded and most comprehensive portfolio management classes in the country.

Sam and Helen Walton


Sam and Helen Walton establish the Walmart Faculty Fund in Marketing



Master of Science in Accountancy established



Walton College moves to its present location on Ozark Avenue. Business Building (WCOB) completed at a cost of $5 million.

Bessie B. Moore Center for Economic Education formed, to provide economic education and understanding to elementary and secondary school teachers.



Small Business and Technology Development Center is formed, to counsel and train small business owners and managers on sound business practices, and new business techniques.

Lloyd Seaton


Lloyd Seaton becomes Dean of the College of Business

computer lab 1984


Center for Executive Education is formed, to provide continuing education for middle and upper level managers



All accounting programs are AACSB accredited.



National search initiated for dean after creation of two endowments to support that role

Doyle Williams


Intensive strategic planning, involving faculty, staff and students, began with aid of Andersen Consulting

First College “block party” held to welcome new and returning students

Dean Doyle Z. Williams hired from USC. Goals for diversity, enrollment growth, entrepreneurship, stakeholder ties, global economy and organizational productivity

Capital Campaign for Arkansas announced

jerry jones commencement



Honors Banquet established to annually recognize outstanding students and faculty, and later, staff and alumni

Distinguished Speaker Series established to expose students, faculty and staff to thought leaders in business and politics

Dean’s Executive Advisory Board established as a forum for feedback from the business community

Master of Science in Accountancy redesigned and renamed the Master of Accountancy (MAcc)

Academic standards increased and assessment methods proposed

Faculty and student breakfasts held monthly with Dean for information, sharing and networking

International Programs office created to advance strategic goal of globalization



Undergraduate Curriculum and Assessment Committee and Masters Advisory Committee established

Business Alumni Advisory Council created to serve as ambassadors for the Walton College

Dean’s Student Advisory Board established to represent students’ concerns to college administration

Expanded program to offer the business degree and a business minor through night and summer classes

Business Forecast Luncheon created to engage business community on economic issues

Department chair positions created with renewable five-year appointment terms

Accounting Careers Awareness Program developed for minority high school seniors to increase diversity of enrollment

Vision 2000 adopted

College received Arkansas Commitment to Quality Award



Major changes to accounting curriculum and new MBA framework proposed

Walton College Career Center established.

Supply Chain Management Research Center formed, to provide a direct link between the private sector and University of Arkansas supply chain resources

Major gift of $6.7 million announced to build Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development to support outreach and economic development

block party


Faculty Personnel Document establishes expectations for faculty teaching, research and service

UA Board of Trustees passes a resolution supporting S.A.K.E., Students Acquiring Knowledge through Enterprise.

AACSB accreditation renewed for business and accounting

Walton Family Foundation Gift


A $50 million gift, the largest upfront cash gift ever given to a public business college, is given by the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation for student and faculty endowments, research centers, technology and other needs

College named Sam M. Walton College of Business Administration

Opening of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development, a conference center.

Center for Retailing Excellence formed, to focus on research and the development of students as future leaders in the retailing and related industries

Freshman Business Connections implemented as a first-year experience to increase student retention

Established Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) chapter established to teach students leadership, teamwork and communication skills

Business Giants Forum established to allow student interaction with CEOs in a question and answer format

Differential tuition approved for graduate students

Graduate School of Business is created to oversee all Master and Doctoral programs in the Business College.

arkansas business hall of fame


Information Technology Research Center, and the Honors Program, are established.

College ranked 48th in public undergraduate business schools in U.S. News and World Report ranking

Branding exercise pursued with external consultants to increase recognition of College

Arkansas Business Hall of Fame launched to recognize exceptional Arkansas business leaders

Renovated College classrooms to provide standard suite of technology in each classroom



Bachelor of Science in International Business introduced

College tied for 36th in public undergraduate programs in U.S. News and World Report ranking

S.I.F.E. Team places first in world for “BizWorld” program



Planning began for increasing admission standards over a period of years

Plans developed for new graduate business building

Students win Arkansas Governor’s Award for Entrepreneurial Development competition

Vision 2005 adopted

Campaign for Twenty-First Century announced

Paul Cronan


Proposal developed to form Business Alumni Society

Technology gifts from IBM, NCR, and SAP helped expand the enterprise computing curriculum

U of A received $300 million gift from Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation



Lead gift of $8 million for Graduate Business Building announced

Received Department of Justice and NSF awards totaling $1.1 million

College tied for 28th in public undergraduate programs in U.S. News and World Report ranking

Entrepreneurial Spirit Forum created to engage students with entrepreneurs

Proposal developed to change Managerial MBA to blended online format



College tied for 25th in public undergraduate programs in U.S. News and World Report ranking

Dean Doyle Z. Williams elected to chair AACSB International

Walton College Credo adapted

Plans developed for strengthening doctoral program

Dean Dan Worrell


MBA program ranked 45th by U.S. News and World Report ranking

National search initiated for new dean after Doyle Z. Williams announces retirement

Walton College and the Department of Accounting are reaccredited by AACSB International

UA Campaign for the Twenty-First Century completed with a total of $1.046 billion in gifts and pledges

Dr Dan Worrell becomes Walton College Dean

Willard J Walker Hall


Willard J. Walker Hall is opened, made possible by an $8 million lead gift from the Pat and Willard Walker Charitable Foundation.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Center for Academic Excellence is opened, funded by a $10 million gift from J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc.

Garrison Financial Institute created, to advance financial education and knowledge through practice.

Tyson Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace is formed, to work with students, faculty and the business community to embrace faith and spirituality in the workplace

Eli Jones


Dr Eli Jones becomes Walton College Dean

Business Analytics Certificate program is created

Old Main at night


Fully online program becomes available for Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

MBA ranked number 1


Walton MBA program ranks number one in the nation for percentage of students employed upon graduation, as reported by U.S. News and World Report in 2014 and 2015.

Matt Waller


Dr Matthew Waller becomes Walton College Dean

McMillon Innovation Studio, an interactive, open-to-the-public university retail lab is created, funded by a $1 million gift from Doug and Shelley McMillon

Leadership History

Together, with a strong faculty and excellent students, these administrators have each forwarded the Walton College's dedication to continued academic excellence.

  • Dean Charles C. Fichtner (1926-1940)
  • Dean Karl M. Scott (1941-1943)
  • Dean Paul W. Milam (1944-1966)
  • Acting Dean Merwyn G. Bridenstine (1966-1967)
  • Dean John P. Owen (1967-1983)
  • Dean Lloyd Seaton (1983-1989)
  • Dean Stan Smith (1989-1992)
  • Interim Dean Thomas McKinnon (1992-1993)
  • Dean Doyle Z. Williams (1993-2005)
  • Dean Dan L. Worrell (2005-2012)
  • Dean Eli Jones (2012-2015)
  • Dean Matthew A. Waller (2015 to present).