Businessman pledges $500,000 to MSU
STARKVILLE – An Arkansas utility executive and Mississippi State graduate has pledged $500,000 to support the university’s College of Business and Industry.
The gift from Dr. Robert L. Qualls, president and chief executive officer of Baldor Electric Co. in Fort Smith, Ark., is in the form of a charitable remainder trust. It makes him a member of the university’s prestigious Stephen D. Lee Society.
“This is an outstanding commitment from Dr. Qualls,” said Mississippi State President Donald W. Zacharias. “He has had a tremendous career since leaving Mississippi State, and we are proud of both his accomplishments and his support of our academic programs.”
Qualls, who received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics from Mississippi State in 1954 and 1958, respectively, assumed his present position with Baldor in 1992. He previously served as both president and chief operating officer and executive vice president of finance and planning with the company.