Soderquist Family Foundation Endowed Scholarship

Soderquist Family Foundation

Type: Endowed

Donor: Soderquist Family Foundation

Established: 2006

The Soderquist Family Foundation created this scholarship in honor of Don and Jo Soderquist and their commitment to worldwide missions as well as to John Brown University.

In 1980, Don Soderquist joined Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. as Executive Vice President and served in several other executive positions until his appointment in early 1988 to Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer. In January 1999, he was promoted to Senior Vice Chairman of the corporation. Prior to his joining Wal-Mart, Don served sixteen years with Ben Franklin, including six years as President and Chief Executive Officer.  Don was a driving force behind Wal-Mart’s rise to greatness as it became the largest company in the world. Known as the “Keeper of the Culture” after Sam Walton passed away, Don firmly believed that business ethics were not a luxury, but an essential element in creating a high-performance organization; he also knew that the responsibility for creating an ethical organization belonged to its senior leaders.

Don received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1955 in Business Administration from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He was awarded Honorary Doctors Degrees from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri, from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and from Judson College in Elgin, Illinois. In 1990, he received the Outstanding Business Leader Award from the Northwood Institute in Palm Beach, Florida, and in 1996 was inducted into the Retailing Hall of Fame.

Don Soderquist served on the Board of Directors & Trustees of ARVEST Bank and Cinemark in Dallas, and has served on the Board of John Brown University, where he was a past chairman.  In addition to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., he served on the board of ServiceMaster, Inc., Salvation Army, NWA Community Foundation, and served on and was a past chairman of the boards of the International Mass Retail Association, the Children’s Miracle Network and Steward’s Ministries.  In 1998, John Brown University created the The Soderquist Center for Leadership and Ethics (SCLE) in his honor.  Don passed away in 2016 and Jo in 2017.