By the time you are reading this, Woody Hall will have taught his last economics class in the Cameron School of Business. This will end a 43-year career in academia, with 41 of those years occurring at UNC Wilmington. During his 82 consecutive semesters of teaching at UNCW, Woody has touched the lives of thousands of students who have taken his classes. However, it is in his role as the preeminent expert on the economy of southeast North Carolina that Woody is best known. Whenever the media has a story that relates to how some business development or trend affects the economy, Woody Hall is the one they call. Each year Woody makes 20 to 30 presentations to area, state and national civic and professional organizations. Let’s face it, the one thing that Woody has not been good at is saying “No.” It is not exaggerating to suggest that Woody (outside of perhaps basketball coach Kevin Keats) may be the best known figure at UNCW among the members of the community.
You would be hard-pressed to identify any other faculty member, in the business school or outside, with the level of community engagement that Woody has demonstrated. He has been the co-principal investigator in more than 10 major economic impact studies, and he has prepared more than 30 brief economic impact assessments for local economic development organizations that have been used in support of the application for public incentives. A couple of his most recent studies have helped reel in Vertex Rail Technologies and Acme Smoked Fish to the region. One of the more interesting studies was the one he did for Mayfaire. Woody was once told that as a result of the study he did documenting the immense value that Mayfaire brought to Wilmington, the city was able hold the line on property tax increases for several years.
Additionally, Woody would present his economic forecast for the region at least twice a year at the Swain Center’s Outlook Conference. And whether the news was rosy or bleak, we knew we could rely on Woody to tell it like he saw it based on his experiences in interpreting the underlying economic indicators.
It is therefore very fitting that in one of his final duties at UNCW, Woody Hall has once again been called on to stand in front of a large group of people and impart his knowledge. This time he will be speaking to the Graduating Class of 2015 as its commencement speaker. It is indeed the end of an era, and a wonderful opportunity to once again hear words of wisdom from the man who can’t seem to say “No.”
For 2014-2015, Dr. Robert T. Burrus, Jr. will serve as interim Dean of the Cameron School of Business at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Before taking on the role of interim Dean, Burrus was the department chair for economics and finance and a professor of economics. He has been on Cameron’s faculty since 1998. The Cameron School of Business has 90 full-time faculty members and 29 administrative and staff members. The school hosts approximately 2,000 undergraduate students and 170 graduate students. International students come to study at Cameron from all over the world. The Cameron School of Business is AACSB accredited; offers capstone experiences; houses a Financial Trading Markets Room; provides for overseas learning opportunities; and is a founding member of the Trans-Atlantic Business School Alliance. To learn more about the Cameron School of Business, please visit http://csb.uncw.edu/. Questions and comments can be sent to [email protected].
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