Walton College honors exceptional students and alumni

From left: alumni Luke Briggs, Julie Barber and Randy Lawson.

Courtesy of Sam M. Walton College of Business

From left: alumni Luke Briggs, Julie Barber and Randy Lawson.

On Wednesday, April 24, the Sam M. Walton College of Business gathered to recognize the formidable achievements of alumni and students during the 31st annual Student and Alumni Awards Ceremony.


Each year, faculty, staff and alumni submit nominations in the categories of service, entrepreneurship and lifetime achievement. Dean Brent Williams will choose the winners.

Walton College was honored to recognize the following alumni achievements:

Lifetime Achievement Award – Randy Lawson: Chairman/CEO, Lawco Exploration, Inc., Bentonville, Arkansas. Lawson earned a BSBA in economics from Walton College in 1981.

Entrepreneur of the Year Award – Lucas Briggs: CEO/Founder, New Nexus Group, Rogers, Arkansas. Briggs earned an MBA from Walton College in 2010.

Award for excellent service – Julie Kapper: EVP, General Merchandise, Walmart, Bentonville, Arkansas. Barber earned a BSBA in marketing from Walton College in 2004.


Undergraduate and graduate students were honored in individual academic business disciplines and as senior scholars and as first-ranked senior scholars. In addition, the college awarded the following individual student awards:

  • Presidential scholar: Katherine Ford
  • Beta Gamma Sigma Award: Abby Garretson
  • Sam M. Walton College of Business Student Leadership Award: Kennedy Blair
  • Doyle Z. Williams Student Leadership Award: Jackson Walton
  • Outstanding Graduating Senior: Allie Rosen

For a complete list of student award winners and a video of the in-person awards celebration, visit the official awards recognition website.

About the Sam M. Walton College of Business: Founded in 1926, the Sam M. Walton College of Business is AACSB accredited and ranked among the nation’s top business schools. Walton College is the largest college at the University of Arkansas, serving nearly 9,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. Walton College is recognized as one of the American news and world reports 2023 “Best Business Schools,” and its supply chain management bachelor’s degree program, were ranked #1 in North America by Gartner. The university’s Master of Business Administration program also ranked No. 11 for best return on investment The Wall Street Journal. The Princeton Review ranked the university’s graduate entrepreneurship program as one of the best in the country for the first time in the year 2022-2023. And in partnership with the Global Campus, the U of A’s online business degree ranked 12th nationally out of 214 institutions American news in 2023.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas’ flagship institution, the U of A offers internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity, while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation ranks the U of A among the few American colleges and universities with the highest levels of research activity. American news and world report ranks the U of A among the nation’s top public universities. See how the U of A is working to create a better world on Arkansas Research and Economic Development News.