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Walmart Heiress, Museum Founder Talks Business at NWACC

Monday Walmart heiress Alice Walton gave her thoughts on Crystal Bridges just four months after its doors open. She sat down with students at Northwest Arkansas Community College.

As Walton spoke to NWACC students it felt more like a chat than a lecture.

She took questions from students on everything from managing stress to work life balance and of course, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

"I'm overwhelmed at how much people are enjoying it and appreciating it," Walton says. "And that is the greatest gift to me that I could ever have."

In less than four months more than 160,000 guests have walked through its doors, far exceeding Walton's expectations. But she says she and her team are continuing to grow.

"We figure things out as we go," Walton says. "You have dreams and places you want to go but you have to figure it out along the way. So I'm sure it won't be whatever I'm thinking of today."

First up will be partnerships with other museums across the world, including the Louvre in Paris.

Walton was invited to speak by NWACC's Students In Free Enterprise, or SIFE Team; a group of students who focus on merging business leadership and community service.

It's a group Walton's father, Sam Walton, worked with as well. And members were happy to hear her speak.

"That's what we wanted from the start," says NWACC SIFE Team President Robert Gearhart. "A real intimate one on one like we were there talking to her in her living room type atmosphere. It was great. I know I learned a lot and the team learned a lot from Ms. Walton and the whole experience."

Walton says her experiences, and the Crystal Bridges Museum, is something the community can share.

"I love the sense of pride that people have in the museum and in having it here," Walton says. "And so that's really special to me."

The Students in Free Enterprise team at NWACC hosts guests lectures twice a year.