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Apr 21, 2014 07:09 AM EDT

Walmart CEO Donates $1 million to UA Walton College of Business

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Doug McMillon, Walmart president and CEO, has made a gift of $1 million to the University of Arkansas' Walton College of Business to support the establishment of McMillon Family Endowed Excellence Fund.

McMillon graduated from the Walton College with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in accounting and earned an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Tulsa.

Chancellor G. David Gearhart said that McMillons' donation will have an overall positive impact on both the Walton College and the University of Arkansas.

"This gift will be the catalyst to help us eventually establish the proposed School of Global Retail Operations and Innovation. The school has the potential to offer interdisciplinary programs in retail, generate international prominence and establish ourselves as the premier location for consumer research and retail education," Gearhart said in a statement.

The McMillon Family Endowed Excellence Fund will help create advanced retail studies by encouraging consumer sciences and consumer behavior-related research; financial support for faculty members during summer, doctoral students and retail research; graduate-level retail curriculum and travel expenditures for faculty to key conferences to advertise the proposed School of Global Retail Operations and Innovation.

Walton College Dean Eli Jones said that the generous contribution from Doug and Shelley McMillon takes a step forward in making the School of Global Retail Operations and Innovation a reality. Jones is confident that others will follow suit  to support the school's vision of creating state-of-the art retail school focused on retailers and suppliers around the world.

The proposed School of Global Retail Operations and Innovation will train retail leaders, promote research by advancing the science of retailing and brainstorm innovative solutions to complex retail challenges among others.

Doug McMillon said that it is an absolute delight to support the launch of the School of Global Retail Operations and Innovation at Walton College

"We need to invest in a new generation of innovative leaders, and Walton College can play a unique role as a destination for cutting-edge retail education. We hope this fund will increase opportunities for students and faculty members, strengthen the college and lay the foundation for many promising careers around the world," he said.

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