SigEp is saddened to announce the passing of Citation recipient Robert Lee Qualls, Mississippi State ’54. He was a highly sought-after financial expert whose career included leadership positions in academia, government and business. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics from Mississippi State University. During his time as an undergraduate, Qualls joined SigEp’s Mississippi Beta chapter.
He later went on to complete a doctorate in economics at Louisiana State University. His expertise in economics led to high-ranking positions in the public and private sectors. He led the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration and served as a cabinet secretary under former Governor Bill Clinton. He also served as executive vice president of Worthen Banking Corporation and as president and CEO of Baldor Electric Company. In addition, Brother Qualls was tapped by the schools of banking at Rutgers, Southern Methodist and other universities to serve in faculty and advisory roles.
In recognition of Quall’s impressive career, the Fraternity presented him with the SigEp Citation in 1977.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Qualls was highly involved in academic and community organizations. He was appointed a trustee of Oklahoma City University, the University of the Ozarks and the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences. And he served as president of his local chamber of commerce and Rotary Club. Qualls was also a veteran, having proudly served as a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
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