William T. Dillard University of Arkansas

The department of accounting in the Sam Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas will be named for William T. Dillard, founder of Dillard’s department stores.

Dillard, who died in 2002, graduated from the UA in 1935 with a degree in accounting. He founded Dillard’s in 1938, and the retail giant, which has annual sales of $6.3 billion, has 265 stores and 29 clearance centers in 29 states.

His son, William T. Dillard II, also an alum of the UA in accounting, has given the university $6.5 million toward a pledge of $10 million for the department. Those dollars go to faculty development and retention, professional outreach, programs, research and doctoral programs, curriculum, scholarships and executive-in-residence opportunities.

Dillard II is now chairman of Dillard’s Inc.; both he and his father are in the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame.

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