The Association of Former Students honored two Mays faculty with Distinguished Achievement Awards, which is the highest university-wide recognition faculty members can receive.
Lamar Savings Professor of Finance Arvind Mahajan received a Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching. Inspired by his father, who was also a professor, Mahajan says he has never regretted his decision pursue a career in academics rather than in the private sector.
“Ultimately, teaching is all about students and what you can contribute to their futures,” he explains. “In general, Aggies are bright, enthusiastic, motivated and hard working, and I have derived a lot of pleasure and fulfillment from seeing my students get to the next level and eventually succeed in life.”
Mahajan, who joined Mays 1980, also serves as the associate director for the Center for International Business Studies. He earned his MBA from the University of Scranton and his PhD from Georgia State University.
In addition, Arthur Andersen & Co. Former Students Professor and Accounting Department Head James Benjamin received the Distinguished Achievement Award for Administration. After joining Mays in 1974, Benjamin was promoted to department head in 1982.
During his tenure, Benjamin has overseen the incredible growth and success of the department’s Professional Program as well as significant increases in the department’s endowment. He acknowledges it is unusual to stay in an administrative job at one school for such an extended period. Yet, Benjamin explains he has no regrets looking back because his goal has always been, and continues to be, to foster change and support faculty and students with high aspirations.
“It is certainly the most significant award that I have received in my career,” says Benjamin, who received a DBA and MBA from Indiana University. “I have always valued The Association’s awards because they represent recognition from the many former students of the university, and the limited number of annual awards are particularly notable given the size of the Texas A&M faculty.”
Distinguished Achievement Award winners receive a $4,000 cash award, an engraved watch and a commemorative plaque.