The American Marketing Association (AMA) has announced Mays Business School Professor Rajan Varadarajan as the recipient of the 2015 AMA/Irwin/McGraw-Hill Distinguished Marketing Educator Award. He is a University Distinguished Professor and Distinguished Professor of Marketing, Regents Professor, holder of the Ford Chair in Marketing and E-Commerce at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School. He is also a self-proclaimed “student for life.”

He will be presented with the award at the 2015 Winter Marketing Educators’ Conference in February.

With an exceptional record of service to the AMA, Varadarajan served as editor of the Journal of Marketing, has chaired multiple AMA conferences and currently is the AMA Vice President for Publications. He serves on the editorial review board of numerous journals, including the Journal of MarketingJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science and Journal of International Marketing. Varadarajan refers to these roles as a way to provide service to the marketing profession as well as “an opportunity to be tutored by hundreds of leading scholars from all over the world on leading edge substantive issues in marketing, philosophy of science related issues and the research process.” He cites the volunteer roles that he has held over the years as “greatly beneficial” to him, “an opportunity for learning, and in turn, [to] become a better teacher and researcher.”

Varadarajan’s primary interests are in marketing strategy, innovation, international marketing and environmental sustainability. He has published more than 100 journal articles and book chapters, and made more than 200 presentations at international conferences, doctoral and faculty consortia, universities and other forums.

Mark Houston, head of the Department of Marketing at Mays, called the award “the highest honor in our field.” He said the selection, based on career contributions, is based upon “the total package – not just a high count of top-tier publications and citations.” He added:
“In short, the winners are scholars whose contributions have helped shape the field, through research, as well as through mentoring and service to the discipline and to the public. Rajan, a true scholar and gentleman, is a wonderful exemplar of the kind of scholar this award was created to celebrate.”

Varadarajan has received nine industry honors and awards, including the AMA Paul D. Converse Award for contributions to the field of marketing (2008) and the AMA Marketing Strategy Special Interest Group’s Vijay Mahajan Award for Lifetime Contributions to Marketing Strategy (2003). He said he is eager to add The AMA/Irwin/McGraw-Hill Distinguished Marketing Educator Award to the list, referring to it as “the pinnacle of awards” and commenting that he is “honored and humbled to have been selected for this prestigious award.”

The award honors living marketing educators for distinguished service and outstanding contributions in marketing education. Recipients must have notable careers with accomplishments across research, teaching and mentoring, public service, creativity and innovation, service to the marketing profession and administration. Honorees must be universally acknowledged as a long-standing leader in marketing education, and must have made extensive contributions to marketing education and the marketing discipline in general.

Upon receiving the award, Varadarajan will join such marketing luminaries as fellow Mays professor Leonard Berry and George Day, Paul Green, Philip Kotler, Don Lehmann, Leigh McAlister, Louis Stern and Valarie Zeithaml.


Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.