LC Bulletin: Hall of Fame welcomes Las Cruces’ Don Beasley

April 10, 2015. Retrieved online April 13, 2015 from Alta LeCompte, Las Cruces Bulletin

[Excerpts below reprinted with permission: Read the complete Las Cruces Bulletin article]

Don Beasley, founder of Las Cruces accounting firm Beasley, Mitchell & Co. and a 1972 graduate of New Mexico State University, will be honored as the 2015 inductee to the College of Business Hall of Fame. (Courtesy photo)

Don Beasley, founder of Las Cruces accounting firm Beasley, Mitchell & Co. and a 1972 graduate of New Mexico State University, will be honored as the 2015 inductee to the College of Business Hall of Fame. (Courtesy photo)

Don Beasley arrived at New Mexico State University in 1968, ready to tackle a college career with the financial support of a football scholarship.

With what he learned in school and on the job, and a series of decisions as strategic as leaving the football field, in 1987 he became founding partner of what is now one of the fastest growing accounting firms in the U.S. – Beasley, Mitchell & Co. of Las Cruces.

Loyal alum: Don Beasley

Beasley, Mitchell 7 Co. employs a staff of 61, 41 of them from NMSU, including some who still attend the business college.

“Our business depends on having very good, very qualified people,” he said, “and the NMSU accounting department helps provide those people.”

He said the school’s graduates are in high demand because they receive an education that is “both very good and very practical.”

“One measure of how good an accounting program is the number of businesses that recruit their accounting graduates,” he said.

Beasley said his academic adviser at NMSU was Lionel Haight, who taught from 1927 to 1972.

He worked for two Las Cruces accounting firms and owned a business before he and Paul Mitchell founded Beasley Mitchell & Co. in 1987.

He has served on other NMSU boards and committees, spoken to accounting classes and supported the university financially, including contributing to campaign to establish an endowed chair in honor of Lionel Haight.

Jim W. Nordyke, an emeritus faculty member of the NMSU College of Business, will receive the 2015 Traders Award from the college. (Courtesy photo)

Jim W. Nordyke, an emeritus faculty member of the NMSU College of Business, will receive the 2015 Traders Award from the college. (Courtesy photo)

Legendary professor: Jim Nordyke

Nordyke joined the faculty as an economics professor in 1964, the year the College of Business, formerly a department, was established.

“The first year I taught, Garrey Carruthers was my student,” he said, adding the current university president was at the– time working toward a master of agricultural economics degree before going on for his doctorate.

“I calculated once that I had 10,000 individual students in my classes.

“This time of year, he would put together handouts to make students aware of the classes available in the economics department and distribute them on campus,” said Kathy Brook, associate dean of the College of Business. “His classes were uniformly viewed as approachable and interesting. He wasn’t heavy on math, which probably doesn’t contribute to the learning process.”

Corporate Traders Award: Citizens Bank

The Corporate Traders Award this year will go to Citizens Bank of Las Cruces, in recognition of its decades of support for the College of Business and NMSU.

Citizens Bank logo

Citizens Bank is locally owned, with 106 employees and local board of directors, and has served the Las Cruces community since 1970. Its leaders and team members have provided scholarship funding and mentorship to students in the College of Business and across Rhena Phillips, assistant vice president for Citizens, said a quick poll of the staff shows there are at least 20 graduates from the NMSU College of Business working for Citizens Bank.

Ruth Christopher and Kevin Merhege currently serve on the Business Advisory Council of the College of Business. The late CEO Justin Harper and current CEO George Ruth served in the past.

“We sponsor the Robert Triviz Memorial Scholarship – endowed fund, probably started in the ’80s, Phillips said. “We also started and contribute to the Jim and Gloria Ikard Endowment annually.


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