by Tyler Hale
The McMillon Innovation Studio at the University of Arkansas has received another significant gift.
Doug and Shelley McMillon have committed an additional $1 million to the Fayetteville interdisciplinary space; to date, they have contributed $2 million to the project. The McMillons contributed the initial $1 million in 2014 that led to the creation of the studio.
The purpose of the gift, according to a University of Arkansas news release, is to advance students’ work in product management. In addition, the gift will count towards Campaign Arkansas, the university’s capital campaign.
“We’re excited to continue to invest in the University of Arkansas and its students,” Doug McMillon said in a statement. “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.”
The innovation studio provides a range of workshops, mentors, tools and entrepreneurial resources that are available to University of Arkansas students. At the studio, students can work to solve challenges facing industries, including the retail and supply chain sectors.
Doug McMillon has a personal connection to the U of A, having graduated from the Sam M. Walton College of Business in 1989 with an accounting degree. He also serves on the Walton College’s Dean’s Executive Advisory Board.
According to Walton College Dean Matt Waller, the gift will help the McMillon Innovation Studio increase its offerings and scale up in a way to support more students.
“The McMillon Innovation Studio is a first stop for any U of A student with an interest in solving real-world problems,” Waller said. “It is a key culture builder for a growing student community of innovators.”
The Kelly and Steve Barnes Health and Well-Being Innovation Fund has previously contributed a $500,000 gift to the McMillon Innovation Studio to support collaboration between health care and business.