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Honoring an Exceptional Educator: Robert Gruber Accounting Professorship Award

The late Robert Gruber's family, friends, colleagues and students gather to celebrate his life and distinguished career.

The late Robert Gruber’s family, friends, colleagues and students gathered to celebrate his life and career. (UW-Whitewater Photos/Jonathon Kelley)

Meifang Xiang, associate professor, was honored as the first recipient of the Robert Gruber Accounting Professorship on November 4, 2016. This professorship celebrates the spirit and impact of Robert Gruber (April 26, 1955 – September 13, 2015), former professor and department chairperson. It will be used to help the accounting program deliver outstanding education and stand out from programs at peer institutions.

Contributions to the endowed fund are invested, and a portion of the earnings will be used each year to advance the accounting program. These monies may be used help recruit or retain high-quality faculty by supporting salaries in a competitive market. The balance of the fund’s earnings will be awarded as the endowed accounting professorship. The professorship will provide a salary stipend to the recipient, as well as the opportunity to direct spending of a discretionary fund.

Meifang Xiang intends to work with Accounting Department Chairperson D’Arcy Becker and Dean John Chenoweth to spend the discretionary funds in a manner that would honor Robert Gruber’s legacy. Meifang worked with Robert for eight years, and she feels privileged to receive the Professorship in his name. She recalls that Robert was intensely committed to student and faculty success and that he was highly regarded at local, state and national levels. His persona was also an asset to the department and college. He was energetic, positive and personable and he had a wonderful sense of humor.

Reflecting on her husband’s life and legacy, Cindy Gruber shared, “Bob aspired to be a teacher, an influencer, a helper, an advisor and a friend to his students… He would be so pleased that this professorship will be used by others who choose to invest in the lives of their students.”

Robert Gruber passed away in 2015 after a battle with cancer. He will long be remembered for his efforts throughout the college and local community, and his leadership within the public accounting profession. Thanks to generous contributions by alumni, $1.1 million has been raised in his honor, exceeding the original $1 million target.

The plaque presented to Cindy Gruber describes Bob's exceptional commitment to student and faculty success.

The plaque presented to Cindy Gruber describes Bob’s exceptional commitment to student and faculty success.

D'Arcy Becker, accounting department chairperson, introduces Meifang Xiang, associate professor and recipient of the Robert Gruber Accounting Professorship. According to Becker, Xiang epitomizes Gruber’s “deep interest in making sure that we have a great program.”

D’Arcy Becker, left, accounting department chairperson, introduces Meifang Xiang, associate professor and recipient of the Robert Gruber Accounting Professorship. According to Becker, Xiang epitomizes Gruber’s “deep interest in making sure that we have a great program.”

Cindy Gruber shares, “His goal was to make a difference through his work and to change lives… If this professorship in even a small way reflects the lives Bob influenced, then he achieved his goals."

Cindy Gruber shares, “His goal was to make a difference through his work and to change lives… If this professorship in even a small way reflects the lives Bob influenced, then he achieved his goals.”

This entry was posted in Accounting, General. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Honoring an Exceptional Educator: Robert Gruber Accounting Professorship Award

  1. AIS-CPA says:

    Congratulations, Professor Xiang. You deserve this recognition. I’m glad to see this award created in the honor of Dr. Gruber. It’s amazing to know that his legacy lives on and will continue helping the accounting program and students at UWW.

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