George C. Mitchell III made two of the most important decisions of his life while a student at Arkansas Tech. One was to change his major to accounting. The other was to join the U.S. Army ROTC program on campus.
Those two choices put him on a path of achievement that led to induction into the Arkansas Tech University Hall of Distinction on Saturday, May 11.
“That’s what college and education is about,” said Mitchell. “Making sure you make the right life decisions…making sure you go and do what is right. At the (Dallas) Cowboys, our motto is ‘do the right thing.’ Don’t worry so much about political this or political that. Let’s try to do the right thing, and I think that is what has made that organization and that brand recognizable around the world.”
Under the tutelage of Professor Bill Lemley, Mitchell earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Arkansas Tech in 1970. He completed the ROTC program at Tech, received a Distinguished Military Graduate Award and earned a commission as an officer in the U.S. Army.
After serving in the military and as an audit manager for Arthur Andersen and Company in Oklahoma City and Arkoma Production Company in Fort Smith, Mitchell became chief financial officer for Jerry Jones’ business empire in 1999. He maintained those responsibilities for 12 years.
Today, Mitchell serves as senior vice president of finance for the Dallas Cowboys Football Club and Blue Star Investments Inc. Mitchell has helped the organization plan and finance, among other projects, the construction of AT&T Stadium in Arlington (estimated cost: $1.15 billion) and The Star, a 91-acre facility in Frisco that hosts the world headquarters for the Dallas Cowboys (estimated cost: $1.5 billion).
The Star contains a 12,000-seat indoor arena used by the Cowboys to practice and local high schools for multiple events including high school football, two outdoor practice fields, a restaurant and training facilities for the Dallas Cowboys. It also has 200,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, a 300-room Omni Hotel and a 360,000-square foot office building that the Cowboys and several other occupants call home.
Additional real estate developments in north Texas as well as accounting and reporting for oil and gas holdings are also part of the portfolio that Mitchell oversees.
“This has been a humbling experience for me,” said Mitchell in response to his induction. “I really do appreciate the fact that you all felt like doing this.”