Sep. 05, 2023
Lloyd Seaton Jr., former dean of the College of Business Administration
Lloyd Seaton Jr., former dean of the College of Business Administration, passed away on July 29, 2023, in Fayetteville. He was 94 years old.
Seaton served as the dean of what is now known as the Sam M. Walton College of Business from 1983 to 1989. He was selected as dean by a faculty committee, which recommended him to the chancellor, who formally appointed him to the position.
Originally from Springfield, Missouri, Seaton joined the U.S. Army (1946-1951) during World War II and served as a paratrooper stationed in Japan. After his military duty, he returned to Bakersfield, California, where he held various jobs while pursuing a bachelor’s degree. He received a graduate degree from San Jose State (California) and his Ph.D. in accounting from the U of A.
U of A alumnus Phil Taylor, a retired professor of statistics and former director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research, now known as the Center for Business and Economic Research at Walton College, reflected on Seaton’s influence as dean and as the director of the graduate program at the College of Business Administration.
“Lloyd was the first dean (at Walton College) to have a woman in his administration,” Taylor said. “Getting women involved in administration was one of his biggest contributions.”
U of A alumna Ann Henry was that administrator. At the time, the College of Business employed four women faculty in the secretarial science degree program, two women in business law and one in accounting. The three faculty members outside of the secretarial science program were Ann Henry, Elizabeth (Beth) Crocker and Doris Cook. Henry and Crocker both taught business law classes, while Cook taught accounting classes.
In 1984, Seaton asked Henry to become an assistant dean and to create pre-business and advising programs. Seaton turned to Crocker to start an honors program.
With Seaton’s support, Henry hired two paid advisers and additional volunteers to help freshmen complete the required lower-level business core classes before taking upper-level courses.
In 1986, Henry was promoted to an associate dean’s position. Throughout her tenure in higher administration, Henry continued to teach students business law. With Seaton’s encouragement, she also would travel throughout the state to fundraise for the college.
Seaton began a program for Little Rock business leaders to hear outstanding national business leaders to promote the college’s work.
After noticing that Walmart was promoting internal employees to management positions, Seaton worked with Walmart to develop basic business concepts for new managers to succeed and involved faculty who taught in this cooperative venture, Henry said. This began a relationship between Walmart and the College of Business, one that is still valued today.
Taylor added that when Seaton led the graduate school at the College of Business from 1974-1977, he actively recruited people of color and foreign students to the program, creating more diversity in the college and its six academic departments. Seaton promoted the college and its programs throughout the state.
“He saw a need to make the college better,” Henry said. “He believed in people having chances.”
Seaton was involved in many organizations on and off campus. He was a member of the Fayetteville Housing Authority, Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and American Accounting Association. He also served as a consultant to the Rural Electrification Administration, the National Telephone Cooperative Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the American Public Power Association and the Governor’s Institute for Executive and Management Development.
On a personal note, Taylor remembered Seaton as being a good sailor, avid fisherman and just a little bit competitive.
“When it came to fishing, he was concerned about who caught the most and who caught the biggest,” Taylor said with a smile.
Seaton enjoyed racing while sailing. “He bought a sailboat in California and trailered it back to Arkansas,” Taylor said. He then joined a sailing club on Beaver Lake, where he competed in races.
In retirement, Seaton and his wife, Dorothy, volunteered in national parks and traveled around the country. The couple retired to Butterfield Trail Village in Fayetteville, where Seaton was an active gardener, Henry said.
The former dean was married to Dorothy Day Seaton for 73 years until she passed away in September 2022. Seaton is survived by his son Lloyd “Pat” Seaton III (wife, Shelly) of Greeley, Colorado; three grandchildren, Cory Seaton (wife, Jennifer Solms) of New Orleans, Ryan Seaton of Los Angeles and Zachary Day Seaton of Kearney, Nebraska; daughter-in-law, Susan Seaton, of Kearney; and sister-in-law, Lila Day, of Houston.
Seaton’s life was celebrated at a mass at Saint Joseph Catholic Church on Aug. 14.
Part of the information for this article came from the University of Arkansas, University Relations Collection, MC 1302a, Box 3, File 112.