April 22, 2010
Webster University Names Business School in Honor of Benefactor Ambassador George Herbert Walker III
Webster University today announced it is naming its business school the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology, to honor the former U.S. ambassador to Hungary, philanthropist, civic leader and longtime Webster supporter. In 2007, Ambassador Walker bestowed upon Webster a gift of $10 million – the largest in the University's history – and designated it to benefit the business school. News of the naming was delivered during a celebration event today at Webster’s Community Music School.
"George Herbert Walker is a treasured name at Webster University," said Webster President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble. "When you look back over the last 35 years at Webster, you find that that name holds a prominent place in our history. Since 1974, George Herbert Walker has been a warrior for Webster, a leader of great spirit and vision."
Ambassador Walker joined the University's Board of Trustees in 1974 and served as board chairman twice – from 1987 to 1992, and again from 2008 to 2009. He was named a life trustee of the University in 2003 and also served for many years as chairman of the advisory board of Webster’s business school.
"This name – the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology – elevates this school into that elite fraternity of quality international business schools," Dr. Stroble said. "The highly respected Walker name, the highly valued Walker support, and the highly regarded school standards combine to become a formidable brand in business education."
During his speech at the dedication ceremony, Ambassador Walker praised Webster's strong international presence. "Just as Washington University is best known for its medical school, the University of Pennsylvania for its Wharton School, M.I.T for its strength in the sciences and engineering, Webster is becoming best known for its international outreach – its international character – of which the business school is its heart and soul," he said. "I am grateful beyond words to have this family name firmly planted on this dynamic and now worldwide George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology."
During the naming ceremony today, Ambassador Walker's cousins, former President George H.W. Bush and former President George W. Bush, delivered congratulatory remarks via video.
"For more than 30 years, Bert has supported and promoted Webster University around the world," said the elder President Bush. "It is appropriate that Webster University is honoring Bert Walker by announcing the School of Business and Technology will be named the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology. It also is important to acknowledge that the name George Herbert Walker will appear on all Webster University campuses nationally and internationally."
"Bert, thank you very much for your patriotism, generosity and your support of Webster University," said President George W. Bush. "Bert's a trustworthy fellow – so much so that I asked him to become my ambassador to Hungary. Bert, you did a fabulous job there, just like you're doing a fabulous job promoting higher education in St. Louis."
Also on hand to deliver remarks was Ambassador Walker's longtime friend, William H. Donaldson, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York Stock Exchange and founding dean of the Yale School of Management. "I know the Walker name has meant a lot to St. Louis and to Webster University," Donaldson said. "What that name stands for is a great thing to have on your door. Over the years, Bert has really intrigued me with Webster University and the way it has evolved. You are right in the bull's eye of global education. You have what we tried to build at Yale: a new model for the future of business education, a multicultural model for business on a global basis."
Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande, dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology, commented on Ambassador Walker's lifetime of service. "This is a hallmark of legendary leaders," he said. "Ambassador Walker is one of those leaders and the quintessential example we wish to set for our students. Our mission is only half accomplished if we simply graduate well-educated business people. We must be equally focused on the type of business people they'll become – global citizens who do well by doing good. I can think of no finer example of that than Ambassador Walker."
Ambassador Walker is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School. He also has received honorary degrees from Webster University, Harris-Stowe State University, and two universities in Hungary – the University of Pecs and St. Istvan University.
With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University is a worldwide institution committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence. Founded in 1915, Webster offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs through five schools and colleges, and a global network of more than 100 campuses. Its 20,000-plus student population represents almost 150 nationalities.
Since opening its first campus overseas in Geneva in 1978, Webster has become a recognized leader and innovator in global education. The University’s Study Abroad programs rank in the top 2 percent of the more than 1,400 colleges and universities surveyed in the "America’s Best Colleges" 2010 edition of U.S. News & World Report. Webster is one of just 34 U.S. institutions to share this distinction, which recognizes study abroad programs that involve substantial academic work for credit and considerable interaction with the local culture. Webster's international presence includes campuses in London; Vienna; Amsterdam and Leiden, the Netherlands; Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu, China; and Bangkok and Cha-am, Thailand. Webster also has educational partnerships with universities in Mexico and Japan.
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