UA renames supply chain department following $1.5 million gift from J.B. Hunt

Representatives from J.B. Hunt Transport Services and the Sam M. Walton College of Business pose for a photo during an announcement of the newly renamed J.B. Hunt Transport Department of Supply Chain Management. (University of Arkansas)

A expanded partnership between the University of Arkansas and J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. will rename the university’s supply chain department after the Lowell-based carrier.

As part of the collaboration, the company has committed $1.5 million to the university to enhance the newly renamed department, which is now known as the J.B. Hunt Transport Department of Supply Chain Management.

J.B Hunt is one of the largest freight transportation providers in North America. Since 2017, the company has gifted $7 million to the university to advance innovative, supply chain-focused initiatives, with $5 million of that dedicated to enabling the Walton College’s supply chain program over the past two years.

Leadership from both organizations were at J.B. Hunt’s corporate campus on Wednesday to discuss how their efforts are making Northwest Arkansas “an epicenter for developing tomorrow’s industry and its leaders,” according to a news release.

“J.B. Hunt and the University of Arkansas are shaping the future of supply chain, not just in Northwest Arkansas, but across the country,” said Shelley Simpson, president of J.B. Hunt. “Together, we are preparing future leaders who will grow with the industry to meet evolving supply chain challenges. This will help us achieve our mission of creating the most efficient transportation network in North America and, ultimately, the world.”

University officials said the long-term vision for the department is to help shape the future of integrated supply chain management. To meet that goal, the department will use J.B. Hunt’s gifts to focus efforts on ensuring the industry has a modern workforce with professionals who can grow with the industry to meet evolving supply chain challenges.

“Walton College aims to be the leader in supply chain management education, research and career readiness,” said Matt Waller, dean of the Walton College. “A gift of this magnitude from one of the global leaders in logistics can expand our reach to talented students, expert faculty and industry thought leaders. Together, we can advance the industry’s positive growth and practice.”