Nancy Walton Laurie (born May 15, 1951) is an American heiress to the Walmart fortune, businesswoman and philanthropist.
Nancy Walton was born on May 15, 1951. She is the younger daughter of Bud Walton, the brother and business partner of Walmart founder Sam Walton. She grew up on Versailles, Missouri, where she met future husband Bill Laurie. At Bud’s death, she and her sister Ann Walton Kroenke inherited a stake in Walmart now worth over USD$9 billion.
With her husband, she donated US$25 million to the University of Missouri for the construction of a new sports arena for the Missouri Tigers in 2001, to be named after their daughter Paige Laurie, who did not attend the university. However, it was revealed shortly after the 2004–05 basketball season started that Paige Laurie paid her USC roommate to do much of her homework for her, even after the roommate left the university due to financial issues. The Lauries gave up the naming rights on November 23, 2004 to the university, which then renamed the arena with the university’s common nickname “Mizzou” and removed all mention of Elizabeth Paige Laurie from the venue, beyond the bare minimum required to acknowledge the Lauries’ gift. They have also endowed the E. Paige Laurie Professorship for the Equine Center at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri. According to The Los Angeles Times, they have also made charitable gifts for “a cancer research center” and “a shelter for abused women” and “a children’s hospital.”
She is the founder of the Nancy Walton Laurie Leadership Institute at the Chi Omega sorority. Laurie is the president and founder of a New York City dance company called the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. She is the owner of the Columbia Performing Arts Centre, a dance studio located in Columbia, Missouri.