UA: McMillons increase support for innovation studio by $1 million

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 585 views 

Photo credit: Michael Barera

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon and wife Shelley have agreed to a $1 million gift to continue their support of the McMillon Innovation Studio at the University of Arkansas. The UA said the gift will fund ongoing student work at the namesake innovation lab designed to take retail forward.

This gift brings the couple’s total commitment toward the endeavor to $2 million and counts toward Campaign Arkansas, the university’s capital campaign to advance academics. The McMillons gave the initial $1 million seed money for the innovation lab in 2014.

“We’re excited to continue to invest in the University of Arkansas and its students,” said Doug McMillon. “Learning how to solve customer problems fast is key to staying ahead of change. We hope to help prepare and inspire a new generation of students to take on these challenges in the retail industry and others.”

Doug McMillon is UA alum, Shelley is a graduate of Missouri State University and the couple have co-chaired capital fundraising campaigns at the UA over the past 11 years.

Shelley McMillon and Doug McMillon visit with students at the McMillon Innovation Studio at the University of Arkansas.

“The McMillon Innovation Studio has been successful in nurturing and inspiring students to adopt a mindset that focuses on innovatively solving problems for customers,” said Matt Waller, dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business. “This additional gift will allow us to scale up that work to support more students.”

The UA said students at the studio come from a variety of majors and work with industry partners on challenges and opportunities that require innovative approached.

“The McMillon Innovation Studio is a first stop for any UA student with an interest in solving real-world problems,” Waller said. “It is a key culture builder for a growing student community of innovators.”

Waller said the studio will instill in many different students the concept of being relentless about solving customers’ problems.