Archived News | Return to News Center

June 20, 2011

Remembering Dr. George T. Walker: University Builder

Update: Memorials may be made to the ULM Foundation referencing the Mary Ellen and George Thomas Walker Scholarship Endowment.

You may make a Memorial Gift online or contact the ULM Foundation at or 318-342-3636.

As  president of the University of Louisiana at Monroe (formerly Northeast  Louisiana State College and Northeast Louisiana University) from 1958 to 1976, President Emeritus Dr. George T. Walker left a lasting legacy, one whose tenure was marked by great accomplishments.

Walker, 98, died on Sunday, June 19, 2011.

Well into his retirement, Dr. Walker remained among ULM’s greatest cheerleaders and was a familiar face at many Warhawk football games and other important university events.

A founding pillar of the university, Walker accomplished much, inspired many and directly enriched higher education for generations.

His achievements improved campus life for every ULM faculty, staff and student. Those achievements were marked with both class and a great sense of humor – a testament to his trademark solid character and the sterling reputation that followed him.

“Dr. Walker set a precedent at ULM for excellence, one not easily matched, but one we still strive to follow,” said ULM President Nick J. Bruno.

“His legacy lives on in our classrooms; his influence is incalculable. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him and were inspired by him. Our condolences go out to his family.”

ULM's George T. Walker Lifetime Achievement Award is given to those who distinguish themselves through professional and personal achievement and who serve the university and the alumni association well during the course of several years.

In addition, the George T. Walker Heritage Society honors those generous donors who have included the university as a beneficiary in their wills or have made other planned estate gifts such as charitable gift annuities, life insurance policies and charitable trusts.

Walker’s tenure included the following highlights:

Walker’s background:

Walker earned a bachelor’s degree in commerce in 1935 from Northwestern State University, followed by a master’s degree in accounting from LSU in 1936.

He began teaching commerce at ULM in 1934, then known as the LSU Junior College. He later served as a faculty member at Southeastern, Southwestern and LSU, providing Walker with well-rounded experiences from which to draw.

He was state supervisor of business education in the Louisiana State Department of Education in 1940. Until 1945, he was director of employee relations at the Port of Embarkation in New Orleans.

He earned his Ph.D. in accounting and administration from LSU in 1948, simultaneously serving as the assistant to the dean of the junior division there from 1945-1948.

Next, he became dean of Applied Arts and Sciences at Northwestern State University, then dean of Administration in 1954, and finally became the president at Northeast Louisiana State College in 1958. He was later named President Emeritus at ULM.

He cultivated a special interest in research, eventually publishing five copyrighted books, and 26 articles in 19 separate journals. One of those books, “The Building of a University,” is today highly valued for its accurate account of ULM’s early years.

The Louisiana Board of Regents awarded Walker with its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997 for his ongoing dedication to higher education.

He and his wife Mary Ellen enjoyed 64 years of marriage and took every opportunity to encourage and praise the members of the ULM family.

This warmth extended to community members, including Emy-Lou Biedenharn. Walker served as vice-president of the Emy-Lou Biedenharn Foundation from 1967 – 1984. The family has since awarded ULM a number of endowments. His children include George T. Walker Jr. and Ellen Walker Stephenson.

George T. Walker was a matchless educator and tireless supporter of the University of Louisiana at Monroe—and his influence will forever positively impact everyone who crosses ULM’s campus.

Thanks to his experience and dedication, his university has grown ever stronger and more innovative, able to pass on the love of education he always inspired.

PLEASE NOTE: Some links and e-mail addresses in these archived news stories may no longer work, and some content may include events which are no longer relevent, or reference individuals and/or organizations no longer associated with ULM.