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Alumnus endows chair honoring former professor

Washington State University on June 18 announced the establishment of the Omer L. Carey Endowed Chair in Financial Education.

The gift honors former WSU College of Business and Economics professor Omer Carey, who served on the college’s finance faculty between 1964 and 1973. He challenged and inspired many students during his career. This gift helps ensure that WSU business students will continue to be challenged and inspired by a leading scholar.

“The master professor, researcher and industry liaison who will fill the Carey Chair will continue Dr. Carey’s legacy of student-centered education,” said CBE Dean Len Jessup. “This endowed chair position bolsters our commitment to provide a world-class, face-to-face education to our students.”

“Omer Carey was a valued colleague during my tenure as a faculty member at Washington State University,” said WSU President Lane Rawlins. “My most vivid recollection of him is that I heard dozens of students talk about his influence and personal interaction. The face-to-face image of WSU was built on faculty like Omer Carey.”

Carey, an Illinois native, earned a bachelor’s degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and a Master of Business Administration and Doctor of Business Administration from Indiana University. He began his academic career at Idaho State University and joined the WSU finance faculty as an assistant professor in 1964. In 1972, Carey was promoted to full professor and from 1968-73, he chaired the Department of Business Administration. He was a visiting assistant professor of finance at the University of Washington Graduate School of Business in 1966.

In 1973, Carey joined the University of Alaska-Anchorage as a professor of business and finance. He served in many positions at the school — such as dean for a year in the School of Business and Public Administration, chair of the Department of Business Administration, graduate program director and assistant dean for academic affairs — before retiring in 1986. He held the Harold T. Craven Professorship in Business and Finance. Carey returned to the school in 1996-97 as chair of the business administration department and a visiting professor.

From 1986-93, Carey served as a professor and department chair at Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage, where he was a university research professor in 1995. In 1987, he traveled to Hamilton, New Zealand, to the University of Waikato as a Fulbright research professor at its Management Development Center. He was a visiting lecturer in finance at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colo., in 1997-98

Throughout his career he authored numerous books and articles on small business financing, banking and other business-related subjects. He was also a consultant for various Alaska businesses and corporations and an expert witness in a number of legal cases involving business matters.

While at WSU, Carey earned a reputation as a professor who truly cared about his students. He also often worked with students outside the classroom to ensure that they gained the skills necessary to succeed.

The Omer L. Carey Chair is funded by Gary and Suzann Brinson. Acclaimed global investing authority and WSU MBA alumnus, Gary Brinson remembers fondly his relationship with Carey. “Dr. Carey was a teacher, mentor and friend to me both as an MBA student and as a teaching assistant during an important time in my academic development. He encouraged me, counseled me and provided critical assessment of my weaknesses that allowed me to develop important skill sets at that juncture in my young life. His excellence in the classroom as a teacher was wonderful to experience. The endowment of this chair in his name will hopefully encourage others to follow in his footsteps at WSU while allowing me to give recognition to Dr. Carey for his specific contributions to my success in life.”

Endowed chairs and distinguished professorships are held by business professors who are leading teachers and researchers. This is the 13th such position in the WSU business college.

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