Students, Colleagues, Alumni Celebrate “Academic Extraordinaire”

Published on November 15, 2010

NABA Recognizes Professor Gamble with Distinguished Service Award,
Establishes George O. Gamble Endowed Scholarship

Professor Gamble, center, has been faculty advisor for the UH Bauer chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants for more than 30 years.

In a packed ballroom in the University of Houston Hilton Hotel, students, alumni, faculty and corporate partners honored a man who has been, and continues to be, a tireless champion of student success at the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business.

The UH Bauer student chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants honored Professor George O. Gamble on Nov. 11 for his 33 years of dedicated service to the college. The association gave Gamble its Distinguished Service Award and announced the creation of the George O. Gamble Endowed Scholarship.

As NABA president Cecile Norton explained that the idea to honor Gamble grew from students and was enthusiastically received by everybody who knows him , “To me, he’s more deserving than anyone I can think of. He’s so humble, despite his many accomplishments.”

Indeed, in Gamble’s 33 years at Bauer, he not only established himself as a widely published professor but also as a highly lauded teacher. He has received more than 20 UH teaching awards during his time at the university. Most recently, Gamble was the recipient of the 2010 Ernst & Young Inclusiveness Excellence Award. In addition to his contributions in the classroom, Gamble began serving as the faculty advisor for the NABA student group not long after he started teaching accounting at UH Bauer, and the student chapter was born in 1978. The organization, created in 1969, has more than 150 chapters, and no one can equal his tenure as faculty representative.

UH Vice President for Student Affairs Elwyn C. Lee, left, presents Gamble with a Congressional Recognition from U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

In addition, he has also been a champion for the Bauer Institute for Diversity and Cross-Cultural Management, where he serves as executive director. Gamble was a catalyst in creating two inaugural student-focused events held on campus this semester — the first ever Concerto: The Bauer Diversity Challenge and the Summit on Solutions “Making Houston a Bully-Free Zone.”

In honoring him at the benefit, keynote speaker Craig Clayton acknowledged that the guests were all in attendance because of “the success attributed to George Gamble being in your lives.”  He also talked about another title Gamble has been awarded by his students — GPA killer. But, as Clayton explained, “students in Dr. Gamble’s class are taught to prepare not just for tests, but for life, and you are required to adhere to higher standards.”

Event organizer and 2004 Bauer alumna Dannetta English, advisory manager at Deloitte & Touche, echoed these thoughts.

“He doesn’t just give you the right answer,” she said. “He makes you figure it out for yourself. He is the most generous man I ever met, personally, academically, financially. He operates on his own time, not office hours. He says, ‘just come in and talk to me, let me know what I can do.’”

Gamble extends this generosity not only to his students but fellow colleagues as well. As they toasted Gamble, professors Art Francia, Richard Scamell, Jim Stinson and John Green all spoke highly of Gamble’s dedication to giving to others and lauded his many accomplishments. Scamell said Gamble was especially worthy of having been named the Robert L. Grinaker Professor of Accountancy and Taxation, because he shares the award’s namesake’s ability to connect with students and inject enthusiasm into course material. Calling Gamble an “academic extraordinaire,” Green praised Gamble for going “above and beyond the call of duty” to serve students.

During the event, Gamble was also recognized not only by UH President Renu Khator, but also received proclamations from Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Congressman Al Green and State Representative Sylvester Turner.

In a heartfelt tribute, NABA Vice President Tim Walker presented Gamble with the award, and said “meeting Dr. Gamble has been a life-changing experience.” As he accepted the award, Gamble acknowledged that he has spent over half his life at UH because he believes in UH and its students, and he was pleased that “future Cougars will benefit from tonight’s dinner.”  Gamble stressed the importance of constantly giving back to others and called himself the “richest man in the world” as he thanked the crowd of over 200 for making him feel “so privileged and so humbled.”

By Stephen Rassenfoss and Sarayu Sundar