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 fundâ€™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 Dâ€™Arcy Becker and Dean John Chenoweth to spend the discretionary funds in a manner that would honor Robert Gruberâ€™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 husbandâ€™s life and legacy, Cindy Gruber shared, â€śBob aspired to be a teacher, an influencer, a helper, an advisor and a friend to his studentsâ€¦ He would be so pleased that this professorship will be used by others who choose to invest in the lives of their students.â€ť
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.