Dunn Receives Alumni Achievement Award

Accounting alum delivers remarks during Homecoming Week

PROVO, Utah – Oct 14, 2016 – Samuel C. Dunn, former senior vice president for Walmart and 1982 BYU accounting alumnus, was honored with the Marriott School of Management Alumni Achievement Award and delivered remarks to several hundred spectators in the Tanner Building.

Prepared with notecards, gospel principles, and a dime, Dunn sought to inspire students and alumni to become servant-leaders through his remarks, titled In the Footsteps of Leaders. He highlighted the values of integrity, humility, and a bias for action, explaining that “the best leaders focus on serving others rather than themselves.”

Dunn related a story from his days as a freshman doing his laundry in the Helaman Halls dormitories. Dunn and others had discovered one of the dryers in the basement laundromat would work without requiring the usual dime, and Dunn cheerfully told a friend the news. To Dunn’s surprise, his forthright friend still placed a dime along with his clothes into the “complimentary” machine.

When Dunn asked his friend why he had paid when it wasn’t necessary, the friend looked Dunn in the eye and explained, “I could never sell my integrity for a dime.” Since that day, Dunn has always carried a dime with him as a reminder to “follow his moral compass.”

After graduating from BYU, Dunn eventually made his way to Walmart, beginning in 1987 as a general accounting manager. During his twenty-eight-year tenure there, Dunn expanded the company internationally as director of administration for Walmart Mexico (Walmex) and as the chief analytics officer of Walmart Japan. In his final role at Walmart as a senior vice president, Dunn managed the strategy and planning of Walmart’s global leverage services.

Dunn said leaders in business must always “listen to others, pay attention to the competition, and swim upstream.” He shared stories of some of the best servant-leaders he had worked with, including Walmart founder Sam Walton, who Dunn said recruited from BYU because the students’ high moral standards paralleled his own.

A question-and-answer session concluded the lecture, and when asked about making decisions, Dunn explained it’s important to “always seek divine inspiration.”

“The power to make good decisions is rooted in a daily ‘power hour,’” he said, which includes scripture study, pondering, and prayer.

Dunn and his wife, Mary, have four children, all of whom attended BYU. He credits the university for helping give his family an “intellectual and spiritual foundation.”

Now retired from Walmart, Dunn serves on several advisory boards and is a member of the Marriott School of Management National Advisory Council. He has served with the Corrective Education Company, which works to help retailers provide shoplifting solutions so first-time offenders can have a “second chance” before they incur a criminal record. He also provides leadership for the Boy Scouts of America.

The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, entrepreneurship, finance, information systems and public management. The school’s mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,300 students are enrolled in the Marriott School’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

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Samuel Dunn mingles with students before receiving his Alumni Achievement Award

Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Abby Eyre