New Board Member Receives Honor
Dr. Lyle Rupert ’82 Named C. Louis and Charlotte Cabe Distinguished Professor of Economics and Business
CONWAY, Ark. (May 31, 2018) – Hendrix College economics and business professor Dr. Lyle Rupert ’82 has been named the C. Louis and Charlotte Cabe Distinguished Professor of Economics and Business.
First awarded in 1977, the professorship is one of several results of a $3.25 million gift made to the College in 1975 by the Cabe family of Gurdon, Texarkana, and Little Rock, Arkansas, and honors C. Louis and Charlotte Cabe.
Rupert, who will formally accept the honor at an August 30 convocation, is the fifth Hendrix faculty member to hold this professorship. Previous recipients include economics and business professor Dr. Burvin Alread ’49 (1977-1980), biology professor Dr. G. Tom Clark (1980-1990), art professor Don Marr (1991-2000), and English professor Dr. Alice Hines (2001-2017).
In addition to the distinguished professorship, Rupert has received three other honors this year: the Exemplary Teacher Award from the United Methodist Church General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) for excellence in teaching, civility and concern for students and colleagues, commitment to value-centered education, and service to students, the institution, and the community; the Carole Herrick Award for Excellence in Academic Advising, which recognizes high-quality academic advising, including contributions that help students formulate and achieve their intellectual, career, and personal goals; and the Faculty Appreciation Award from the Class of 2018.
He learned of his selection for the professorship from Provost Terri Bonebright, shortly after he had received the two faculty awards given at the College’s 2018 Honors Day Convocation. It was an emotional experience, he said, because “I had no anticipation of it, no expectation of it.
“The way I view it, a distinguished professorship is kind of the pinnacle of recognition of a career in academics,” Rupert said. “Hendrix only has six of them, and so it has to be very selective – which is partly why I was very surprised and shocked, because I could think of many others who have shown to be distinguished professorship material. But that’s one of the things I talked with the provost about, was that it’s such an honor that what I have tried to do to help Hendrix and to help our students has been worthy of recognition.”
His teaching educates students on topics such as managerial accounting, information systems, corporate finance, statistics, and nonprofits. Beyond his faculty responsibilities at Hendrix, he is an accomplished organist and director of church music, and has spent 13 years with Arkansas Governor’s School, 12 of those as its director.
After graduating from Hendrix, he earned his M.B.A. at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he also became a Certified Public Accountant. He joined the Hendrix faculty in 1987, and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Central Arkansas in 2015. Rupert’s professional service includes involvement with local, state, and national activities, such as pro bono consulting with area nonprofits and churches concerning financial matters, presenting at the Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants Educators Conference, and serving as secretary of the National Conference of Governor’s Schools.
Colleagues have praised Rupert’s accomplishments, influence, and varied interests as making him worthy of this honor.
Ann Muse ’83, professor of theatre arts, worked with psychology professor Dr. Jennifer Peszka and economics and business professor Dr. Ralph Scott to put forward the nomination for Rupert. She points to his diverse talents as exemplifying the benefits and value of a liberal arts education.
“He is as comfortable with and inspired by a bunch of numbers as he is with Handel’s Messiah,” Muse wrote in the nomination. “For me, that is truly an example of a person’s embodiment to the liberal arts.”
Scott noted in the nomination that Rupert has a particularly large number of advisees—double the number of others in the department.
“This is strong evidence of the trust that our students place in his leadership and his outstanding ability to establish relationships with his students that extend beyond any particular class,” he wrote.
Rupert, who has spent his entire career at Hendrix, says he owes this latest honor to the relationships he has built over time.
“I think to have a successful career in academics you have to love your students and love your institution,” he said. “And I certainly have, for 31 years now.”
From Hendrix News