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Last updated on Wednesday, August 28, 2013, 10:50 am

Don Soderquist

JBU College of Business Renamed to Honor Soderquist

by Northwest Arkansas Business Journal Editors

John Brown University in Siloam Springs has renamed its College of Business the Donald G. Soderquist College of Business, the school announced Wednesday.

Also announced was a new $2 million endowment for the Soderquist College of Business, which includes a $1 million gift from the Soderquist Family Foundation and a $1 million matching gift by an anonymous donor.

“Don Soderquist is known as a wise business leader who cares deeply for the growth and development of people because of his values, particularly his commitments as a Christian. JBU’s College of Business aspires to graduate business students whose lives will follow a similar trajectory of servant leadership,” Dr. Chip Pollard, JBU president, said in a news release. “Naming the college in appreciation of Don’s longtime support of JBU not only honors the gift of the Soderquist Foundation, but it also offers our business graduates a model to follow. We are deeply grateful to Don for all that he has done for JBU.”

Soderquist was a driving force behind the growth at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. He joined the company in 1980 as executive vice president and was appointed to chief operating officer in 1988, where he served until retiring in 2000.

Soderquist served on the JBU board of trustees from 1982 until 2009, and served as the board’s chairman from 1991 until 2002. He is currently trustee emeriti.

He was inducted into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame in 2010, and is the founding executive of the Soderquist Center for Leadership and Ethics at JBU.

The $1 million gift and $1 million match will help support endowed professor positions in key disciplines in the Soderquist College of Business, such as international business, accounting and economics, to assist the college in recruiting, retaining and developing top business faculty.

Additionally, the endowment will support faculty scholarship grants for the professional development of newer faculty.

The anonymous match is part of the $10 Million Endowment Match program. Created in January by an anonymous donor, the program encourages endowment growth for scholarships, programs and endowed chairs.

The Soderquist College of Business is home to three business programs: undergraduate, graduate and degree completion.


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