A combined $1 million gift from Walmart and the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation will fund the renovation and expansion of the current Sam M. Walton College of Business display, honoring Walmart’s founder, Sam Walton, according to a statement form the University of Arkansas.
Each organization donated $500,000 to update the display in the Business Administration Building on the University of Arkansas campus.
The exhibit is now 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.
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 donated $300 million to the university — the largest gift on record to American public higher education — during the billion-dollar Campaign for the Twenty-First Century.
The Walton College is ranked in the top 50 among public and private undergraduate business schools in the nation and in the top 30 among public business colleges, according to the U.S. News and World Report 2012 “America’s Best Colleges.”
Since the 2006 report, the Walton College ranking among public undergraduate business schools has averaged in the top 25, and the school has an average rating over that period that puts it in the top 42 among public and private institutions.