September 14, 2011 by Janet Perez, Senior Communications Specialist, NMSU Communications & Marketing Services NMSU News Center, for the College of Business
Efforts are underway to raise funds to convert a professorship named after a legendary former head of the accounting department into a fully endowed chair.
Last year, longtime New Mexico State University supporters and alumni, Mike and Judy Gray Johnson, donated $250,000 to create the Lionel Haight Professorship. Haight was famous for his demanding classes.
“He was known for being tough as nails, but a lot of his former students have been very successful in practice,” said Ed Scribner, head of the College of Business’ accounting and information systems department. “What really stuck with people was the work ethic that Haight built into them or keyed them into their own deep-seated work ethic that they didn’t realize they had. They started to see how successful they could be by applying themselves and through the discipline they were encouraged to have.”
That was true for Judy Gray Johnson, who went on to become a certified public accountant and later the financial director for the city of Houston. Johnson credits Haight with her success.
“He was encouraging and knew students could achieve success, but it meant working hard,” she said at the time of the quarter-million dollar donation.
Following the initial gift, Scribner and assistant dean for development, Andrea Tawney, began working hard to raise money in order to turn the Haight Professorship into an endowed chair.
“Ed is leading by example when it comes to meeting the challenge of raising funds for his department,” Tawney said. “The first week I started, Ed and I got working on developing ways to increase the Lionel Haight Professorship. Ed immediately arranged for a stock gift transfer to pave the way for other donors, alumni and faculty to contribute to.”
Scribner and Tawney have set a goal of $1 million to establish the chair and provide funds for other accounting department endeavors.
While the Lionel Haight Chair is still down the road a bit, the Lionel Haight Professorship should be up and running soon. Tawney and Scribner expect the professorship to be in place by next fiscal year.
Please contact Andrea Tawney, 575.646.4917, if you’d like to participate.