By Karen Gianelli
Finance professor Thomas C. Moses touched the lives of many students and faculty. His legacy includes the Tom Moses Award for Outstanding Student Organization Advisor, the Thomas C. Moses Memorial Scholarship Endowment, and the Thomas C. Moses Professorship in Finance.
Sometimes, even after a beloved professor has departed, his influence on education keeps on giving. A former major advisor and past assistant Department of Finance head, Professor Thomas C. Moses’ dream was to attend the UA. He began as a paper boy for the Arizona Republic & Gazette in 1937, then went on to serve in the Merchant Marines and the U.S. Army before becoming district manager of the Arizona Republic & Gazette in 1946. He moved on to become manager of the Fred Hurley Trucking Co. for eight years and, in 1963 at the age of 38, he entered the UA to obtain a degree in trucking management. When the degree was discontinued, he turned to economics and finance, all the while delivering newspapers to Bisbee and Douglas six days a week. Upon completion of his undergraduate degree, Moses stayed at UA to earn a master’s and Ph.D. in economics with a minor in finance.
Why switch careers? As a teaching assistant, he loved teaching and working with students. As a professor, Dr. Moses made himself available to his students, meeting in those days at the Green Dolphin or Gentle Ben’s. His students said his experiences made learning more relative and personal. While Dr. Moses was received as a mentor in the lives of his students, his influence was even more far-reaching.
Eller College Dean Jeff Schatzberg thought Professor Moses was an excellent and accessible faculty mentor, especially when Schatzberg was a junior professor at Eller. “Tom set the bar with his teaching and student interaction, and represented a tremendous role model for all faculty in the College,” said Schatzberg. “I will always be indebted to him for his tutelage and guidance, and I am proud to have known him as a colleague and friend.”
“Tom Moses was one of those no-nonsense professors who demanded a lot from his students and in turn gave a lot back to them”, says Pam Perry, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs. “He was the undergraduate coordinator of the finance department and taught one of the first classes in the undergraduate finance major. Tom devoted his teaching to help students learn finance and achieve top job placements. He was one of the most popular teachers in the department and consistently achieved the respect of his students.”
In 2002, shortly after his retirement, the Tom Moses Award was created to honor an outstanding Eller College student organization advisor whose involvement and contributions helped to lead an organization to great achievements. The first award was presented to accounting professor Leslie Eldenburg, and continues to be awarded each year. The latest recipient is economics lecturer Steve Reff.
Soon after Dr. Moses’ death in 2004, an undergraduate scholarship was established in his name, the Thomas C. Moses Memorial Scholarship Endowment. In the summer of 2013, one of the greatest compliments to Dr. Moses’ reputation as an outstanding professor came when an anonymous donor contributed an endowed professorship in his name. His former students made this gift in recognition of the influence he had on their lives. The first Thomas C. Moses Professorship in Finance was awarded to Kathleen Kahle.
Top photo courtesy Eller College of Management.