Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA's Nelson Rusche College of Business introduces lecture series in honor of college's namesake

May 13, 2016 - University Marketing Communications
Stephen F. Austin State University's Nelson Rusche College of Business recently announced the establishment of a new lecture series in honor of the college's namesake, the late A. Nelson Rusche. The Nelson Rusche Distinguished Lecture Series is scheduled to premiere Nov. 3. Rusche graduated from SFA in 1949 with a bachelor's degree in business administration and served on the university's Board of Regents for three years.
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin State University's Nelson Rusche College of Business recently announced the establishment of a new lecture series.

In 2002, SFA's College of Business was named in honor of A. Nelson Rusche, who endowed the college with a $5 million gift, which provides scholarships to students majoring in business and also supports other programs, including a distinguished lecture series.

The Nelson Rusche Distinguished Lecture Series is scheduled to premiere Nov. 3, and according to Dr. Timothy Bisping, dean of the Nelson Rusche College of Business, it will provide opportunities to bring scholars and business leaders to the SFA campus to discuss relevant issues.

"The series will convey to our students and other members of the SFA and Nacogdoches communities ideas, insights and knowledge they might otherwise be unable to obtain without considerable expense," Bisping said. "It also is a wonderful way to highlight the Nelson Rusche College of Business and our exceptional programs, students, and faculty and staff members."

Bisping said Rusche, who graduated from SFA in 1949 with a bachelor's degree in business administration and served on the university's Board of Regents for three years, had a clear vision for the series.

"Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Rusche, I have learned a great deal from others about his integrity and desire to help SFA students succeed, and I am honored to have the privilege of bringing his vision to life," Bisping said.

Bisping added the impact of Rusche's generosity and guidance cannot be understated.

"The resources he made available to help attract and retain top students, provide special student-learning opportunities and pursue other crucial initiatives have allowed us to build upon the excellent programs already in place within the Rusche College of Business," Bisping said.

Born in Appleby, Texas, Rusche served in the U.S. Army during World War II and received a Purple Heart for his service with the 43rd Infantry Division in New Guinea and the Philippines.

In 1951, Rusche purchased his first Gulf Oil service station and later became a commissioned agent. The A.N. Rusche Distributing Co. grew to be a 250-million-gallon-a-year distributor-Gulf Oil's largest customer. Rusche later expanded his business to include automated car washes and convenience stores.

His distributing company received numerous awards and honors from the Texas Oil Marketers Association, now known as the Texas Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association. He served as president of the association and was active in the Past Presidents' Association. He was honored with the E.K. Bennett Award in 1996, making him the association's "Man of the Year."

Rusche passed away Sept. 17, 2013.