Professor Emeritus Dale Funderburk created a legacy of excellence in the College of Business at Texas A&M University-Commerce during his 52-year teaching career. A new scholarship in his name will memorialize his impact.
The Dr. Dale Funderburk Honorary Scholarship will provide financial assistance to undergraduate business majors at A&M-Commerce. Funderburk’s former student, Timothy Meads, contributed $10,000 to begin the scholarship fund. Meads will also match additional gifts to the fund, up to $20,000.
Funderburk graduated from East Texas State University (now A&M-Commerce) with a Bachelor of Arts in economics. He returned to the university in 1968 and taught economics in the College of Business for over half a century.
Meads said he wants to make sure Funderburk’s passion—for both economics and his students—is honored and remembered.
“If someone remains in a specific business or with a certain company for 51 years, they don’t do it because it’s a job. They do it because it’s what they love to do,” Meads said. “I want to make sure we remember Dale at this university.”
Meads, who is a senior vice president with Merrill Lynch in Tyler, Texas, graduated from ETSU with a BBA in Finance. He and his son, Nicholas Meads, who graduated from A&M-Commerce with an MBA, both took economics courses from Funderburk—36 years apart!
“Dr. Funderburk is part of our family’s education legacy.” Timothy said.
According to Timothy, Funderburk was an influential professor for many reasons. He incorporated current events to create exciting and relevant lectures, and he involved students in debates and dialogue about economic issues to help them learn.
Most important, Funderburk was interested in his students’ lives beyond the classroom. He enjoyed keeping up with their successes, and he was proud of their accomplishments.
Nicholas Meads recalled, “Dale was real and genuinely cared about his students. His interest was also about his students’ success outside the classroom. Their career success was almost more important than the success in a given class itself. I have graduated but stayed in touch with him because he has a big heart and he is the epitome of a great teacher.”
One of Funderburk’s first graduate students, Stanley Holmes, Ph.D., remembers Funderburk’s classes with fondness.
“Before I met Dale, I thought economics was dry and just a series of math and graphical exercises,” Holmes said. “After being instructed by Dale, the subject became more applied and relevant. I can say with certainty that he was a driving force behind my further education, my success in a 26-year high-tech business career and 12 years as an economics instructor at A&M-Commerce.”
Another former student, John Mark Dempsey, Ph.D., said Funderburk instilled a lifelong interest in economics.
“Most of us don’t remember too many of our college professors, but I attended ‘ol’ ET’ and never forgot Dr. Funderburk’s economics class. I’ve retained a lifelong interest in economics, and it surely started in Dale’s class,” he said.
Through the years, Funderburk taught graduate and undergraduate courses in macroeconomic theory and policy; public policy economics; money, banking and financial markets; and monetary theory.
He published articles in numerous journals, including The Appraisal Journal, Journal of Economics, Journal of Forensic Economics, The Real Estate Appraiser and Analyst, and the National Social Science Journal.
He also presented at conferences and universities worldwide and served on numerous university committees and councils. He was named the “Academy for Global Business Advancement Global Educator of the Year” in 2004.
Funderburk also served as interim dean of the College of Business in 2000-2001, 2012-2013 and 2016-2017.
“Dale has always remained an academician at heart, despite being asked to serve multiple stints as an interim administrator,” said Asli Ogunc, Ph.D., Funderburk’s friend and former department head.
Funderburk retired from A&M-Commerce in August 2020, after more than a half-century of service to the university. He and his wife, Carol, make their home in Commerce, Texas.
Timothy Meads said he hopes Funderburk’s legacy in the College of Business will inspire friends and alumni to contribute to the honorary scholarship.
“I hope that others will see the value of what Dr. Funderburk brought to our students and choose to make a difference, too, by contributing to this scholarship fund,” he said.
The Dr. Dale Funderburk Honorary Scholarship will become available when it is fully funded at $50,000.