George Thomas Walker
George Thomas Walker was born near Wyatt LA on March 2, 1913, the son of William Thomas and Elizabeth Stovall Walker. One of nine boys and two girls, he was educated in local elementary schools, graduated from Amite High School, and received his bachelor's degree from Northwestern State University in 1935.
After earning a master's degree in accounting at Louisiana State University in 1936 Walker began his teaching career in Monroe at Northeast Junior College. He went on to serve on the faculty of Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. From 1941 to 1943 Walker was State Supervisor of Business Education, and from 1943 to 1945 he served as Personnel Director for the Port of Embarkation in New Orleans.
Following the war, Walker earned a PhD degree in Business Administration and Accounting, with a Minor in Economics, from LSU and simultaneously served as Assistant to the Dean of the Junior Division. After completion of his doctoral studies, Walker became Dean of Applied Arts and Sciences at Northwestern State University, adding to those duties the position of Dean of Administration for the university in 1954.
On July 1, 1958 Walker began his service as the President of what was then Northeast Louisiana State College, and is now known as the University of Louisiana at Monroe. The university grew in enrollment, physical plant as well as academic stature. In the course of his tenure from 1958 to 1976 enrollment increased from 2100 to 9700, became known as Northeast Louisiana University and became the largest university in North Louisiana in terms of enrollment and state appropriations. Among all of the universities under the Board of Trustees Northeast Louisiana University had the largest percentage of doctoral faculty, more nationally accredited academic programs and paid the highest faculty salaries.
In addition to academic growth, under his leadership numerous support groups were created: Northeast Louisiana Concerts Association, Northeast Louisiana University Foundation, Northeast Louisiana University Athletic Scholarship Foundation and Northeast Louisiana Land Corporation.
Along the way Walker was the author of numerous academic and professional journal articles, and authored several books on accounting and business education. Following his retirement he wrote The Building of a University (1991) and Emy-Lou Biedenharn: Her Life and Legacy (1999.)
Active in his church, he served as an Elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Monroe.
In 1938 Walker was married to Mary Ellen Neal, his college sweetheart, and they have a son, George T. Walker, Jr. of Monroe and their daughter Ellen Claire Stephenson of Lancaster PA.
He is survived by five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, July 9 at the First Presbyterian church, 1201 Stubbs Avenue, with a reception to follow in the Fellowship Hall.
The family has requested that memorial gifts may be made to the ULM Foundation (ref: Mary Ellen and George Thomas Walker Scholarship Endowment), 700 University Avenue, Monroe, Louisiana 71209.
Online condolences may be made to the family at www.kilpatrickfuneralhomes.com
Kilpatrick Funeral Home