UA Accounting Department to be Named for William Dillard

UA Accounting Department to be Named for William Dillard
(Stephanie Dunn)

The accounting department at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas will be named the William Dillard Department of Accounting.

Dillard, who died in 2002, graduated from the UA's College of Business Administration in 1935 with a degree in accounting. He was the founder and CEO of publicly traded Dillard's Inc. of Little Rock.

His son, William T. Dillard II, the current chairman and CEO of Dillard's Inc., graduated from the UA in 1966 with a degree in accounting and has given $6.5 million to support the accounting department, part of a planned total gift of $10 million.

Chancellor Joe Steinmetz said in a news release that the late William Dillard's "leadership and accomplishments in business are an inspiration to our students and faculty and the naming of this department in his honor ensures his legacy will continue to inspire our students and serve our campus for years to come."

Dillard was inducted into the first class of the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame in 1999. His son was inducted in 2016.

"The act of naming a department is pivotal to the continued improvement of the accounting department and to our college as a whole," Walton College Dean Matt Waller said. "The recognition it represents and the association with the business acumen and success of Mr. Dillard strengthens our ability to attract the best students and attract and retain top faculty.

"Naming also recognizes the contribution of outstanding Arkansans such as William Dillard to the University of Arkansas and our state and is consistent with our position at Arkansas' flagship university."

The UA said the Dillard donations will support faculty development and retention; professional outreach; program innovations; research and doctoral funding; accounting analytics and technology curriculum; Master of Professional Accounting scholarships; and executive-in-residence opportunities.

Naming the accounting department is subject to board of trustees approval.