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Oct. 19 2002

Former President Donates a Lifetime of Publications to the University

The University of Louisiana at Monroe has accepted a gift from President Emeritus George T. Walker establishing the George T. Walker Collection at the ULM Library. A reception to honor Dr. Walker for the special offering was held this past Thursday on the fifth floor of the library in special collections.

The gift from Dr. Walker includes a lifetime of publications (written by him) dating back to 1938. Within the collection are publications about business, education subjects in high schools, accounting in junior colleges, and the role of business education in the community among various others. Also in the collection are his two books: The Building of a University and Emy-Lou Biedenharn-Her Life and Legacy.

The George T. Walker Collection will be on display on the 5th floor of the library in special collections for a short time. It will then be stored at the University and available for special research.

Don Smith, Associate Professor and Dean of Information Services at the University Library said, "The receipt of such a gift from a faculty member at any university library is one of great importance. I encourage all University faculty to follow his example in building our library's collections."

Dr. Walker addressed the small group at his reception with a brief account of his life. He said, "I have been the most fortunate fellow in so many ways, you will pardon me for reminiscing."

He talked about the struggle his family went through to get all of their 10 children, George being the ninth, a good education. He went on to describe the path that led him where he is today. Walker holds master's and doctoral degrees from Louisiana Sate University in accounting and business administration, and a bachelor's degree from Northwestern State University in teacher education, along with teaching experience in those fields at Northeast, LSU, Southeastern, USL and Northwestern.

Walker became the President of Northeast Louisiana State College, now ULM, in 1958 and held that post until 1976. When Walker first came to be President in 1958, the institution had been a senior college for the past eight years, but was still not fully developed. The school was landlocked between the bayou and College Avenue and seemed to live in the shadow of the older colleges in the state. A former faculty member under Walker's administration wrote that Dr. Walker's resolution and the steel of his determination brought the college to full maturity, as a major educational institution where a conscientious faculty may attain a measure of immortality by influencing for good the citizenry of the future. The physical growth of the institution was great under the leadership of Dr. Walker. The student body numbered barely 2,00 in 1957, and the year he retired it was more than 9,000. The instructional staff grew also from just over 100 to 370 in 1975. The budget from 1958-59 was one-and-a-half million dollars, by 1975 it was nearly up to fifteen million dollars. One other noted area of growth was the physical facilities. The fifty-two acre campus expanded to more than 150 acres.

For more information contact the ULM Library at (318) 342-1050.

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