University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business


The year 2007-2008 marked the inauguration of the Garrison Financial Institute (GFI) at the Sam M. Walton College of Business to advance financial education and knowledge through practice. Its mission is to enhance student learning through experience, foster research that extends and perfects best practices, and contribute to the economic development of the State of Arkansas and the welfare of its citizens.

The establishment of GFI was made possible through a generous $2 million gift from the Garrison Family to help build a nationally competitive financial services industry in the State of Arkansas. An additional $2 million was provided through the Matching Gift Program, made possible by the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation's $300 million gift to the University of Arkansas. Both grants combined to form the $4 million endowment for the Garrison Chair in Finance, which supports investment research and funds the Garrison Financial Institute. 

We are proud of the milestones we achieved during our inaugural year. We established the Global Financial Market Center providing students with access to software and electronic data preparing them to hit the ground running as finance professionals. We established our Advisory Board to engage alumni and financial executives who help us accomplish our stated mission. Our student-managed funds have performed well, despite declines in the major market averages. Despite headwinds for financial services, our finance graduates received job offers from top national, regional and local firms. We received a $75,000 grant from the Investor Protection Trust Foundation in Washington, D.C., enabling us to provide investor education to freshmen at the University of Arkansas, middle and high-school students, and teachers in Northwest Arkansas.

Wayne Y. Lee, Professor

Department Chair in Finance
Garrison Chair in Finance
Alice L. Walton Chair
Executive Director