East Central University The Ada Evening News Tue Feb 22, 2011, 11:29 AM CST Ada — The Gene A. Nelson Endowed Chair in Business Administration at East Central University has been awarded to Dr. Tom Lanis.
In this new position, he will play a leadership role in strengthening the internship initiative of the School of Business and maintain an active outreach and consulting agenda, both requirements of the Nelson Endowed Chair position.
"I am excited about this opportunity and at the same time humbled to carry the Gene Nelson title,” Lanis said. "He was a truly great man and through this position I hope to carry on some of the great things he did for ECU and the state of Oklahoma.”
Lanis currently is the acting department chair in the Department of Business Administration and teaches courses in marketing, promotion and professional selling. He also directs the Oscar L. Parker Center for the Advancement of Ethical Standards in Business and Society.
He has been a full-time faculty member at ECU since 1997 and temporarily taught at ECU from 1991 to 1993. In addition to his service at ECU, Lanis is active in the community and serves as chair of the Community Enhancement Committee of the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce.
Lanis holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, a master of business administration degree and a doctoral degree in marketing, all from Oklahoma State University.
The Gene Nelson Chair was established by Nelson, a former ECU student, and his wife Jimmie Lee, an ECU graduate, through a generous donation to the ECU Foundation. The endowment is matched by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.
Nelson died last September. He was a successful Duncan businessman who was active in public, community and civic service. He served on the Board of Regents of Oklahoma Colleges from 1992-1999, and was a lifetime member of the East Central University Foundation Inc. ECU granted Nelson an honorary master of humane letters degree in 2001.