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Hendrix Alumnus and Board Leader Joins Southern Bancorp, Inc.

Walter Pryor ’87 to serve as Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel

SB_Walter-Pryor_M-scaled.jpgCONWAY, Arkansas (December 7, 2023) — Hendrix College alumnus and vice chair of the Board of Trustees Walter Pryor ’87 was recently named Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel for Southern Bancorp, Inc., a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

As Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, Pryor will lead and direct the CDFI’s administrative functions to ensure effective operations as well as oversee its legal, regulatory, and compliance functions.

The new role reunites Pryor with Hendrix classmate and fellow board member Darrin Williams ’90, CEO of Southern Bancorp, Inc.

“We are thrilled to welcome Walter to our leadership team,” said Williams in a press release. “As we set out to grow our assets, market footprint, and impact, we knew that a proven leader would be needed to achieve our ambitious goals. Walter is an exceptional attorney and executive who will help shepherd our growth into the future.”

An Arkansas native, Pryor brings more than 25 years of experience in law and leadership to the role at Southern Bancorp, most recently at Chicago State University where he served as interim general counsel, chief compliance officer and vice president of legal affairs. Prior to this, he spent nearly a decade with Ceannate Corp in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, first as vice president of government relations and later as its senior vice president and general counsel.

He has held similar roles and responsibilities for other notable organizations and groups over the years, including vice president of government affairs for Career Education Corporation (now Perdoceo Education Corporation); principal and general counsel of The Podesta Group; legislative director for U.S. Senator Mark Pryor; deputy director and managing attorney for the National Association of Attorneys General; and acting counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Tax Division.

“I couldn’t be more excited about joining Darrin and the team at Southern Bancorp, particularly during this time of growth and impact expansion,” said Pryor. “I have long been a fan of the unique mission and work that Southern Bancorp does and look forward to helping the bank achieve its objectives, support its future, and continue that legacy of service for our communities, staff, and shareholders.”

After graduating from Hendrix, Pryor earned his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. Pryor is the recipient of the 2007-08 Hendrix Odyssey Medal for Professional and Leadership Development.

About Southern Bancorp
Founded in 1986 by some of the nation’s leading political, business, and philanthropic leaders with an initial investment of $10 million, Southern Bancorp, Inc., along with its development partners – Southern Bancorp Bank and Southern Bancorp Community Partners – has grown into a $2.5 billion asset organization with 56 locations serving 65,000 customers across two states. Southern Bancorp has a unique array of financial products and services designed to help individuals at all stages of life’s financial journey – from teaching kids how to save to helping entrepreneurs and families realize the American Dream. Southern Bancorp is a certified Community Development Financial Institution, certified B-Corp, and proud member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. Learn more at and

About Hendrix College

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges and celebrated among the country’s leading liberal arts colleges for academic quality, engaged learning opportunities and career preparation, vibrant campus life, and value. The Hendrix College Warriors compete in 21 NCAA Division III sports. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. Learn more at   

“… Through engagement that links the classroom with the world, and a commitment to diversity, inclusion, justice, and sustainable living, the Hendrix community inspires students to lead lives of accomplishment, integrity, service, and joy.” —Hendrix College Statement of Purpose