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Cunningham acquires administration position

Jan. 24, 1997


By Michelle Van Rysselberge

Lariat Staff Writer

A new University regent and alumnus has faithfully served his alma mater in a variety of locations ranging from the Houston Baylor Club and Hankamer School of Business to currently accepting an administrative office. Harold R. Cunningham started his position as interim vice president of finance and administration and interim vice president of human resources and planning on Jan. 17.

Cunningham will serve until he and University President Robert B. Sloan Jr. find two new vice presidents.

Dr. J. Clifton Williams retired Dec. 31, 1996, from the office of vice president of human resources and planning. Williams was also serving as interim vice president of finance and administration since Dr. James Netherton's resignation from that office in June 1996.

Cunningham retired from a 40-year career with Arthur Andersen accounting firm March 31, 1996. Over the course of his career, Cunningham was in charge of the Houston audit division, Managing Partner-Professional Practice Litigation , Managing Partner-Chief Financial Officer, and Senior Partner of Andersen Worldwide.

After Cunningham's retirement, Sloan approached him about the office of vice president of finance and administration. Cunningham said that he was enjoying retirement and was not interested in starting a new career.

Accepting the interim position without pay is a way Cunningham feels he can serve the University.

'Filling in as financial vice president allows me to use my experience to do something to benefit Baylor,' Cunningham said.

During his first week on the job, Cunningham is getting acquainted with what the office entails, meeting the faculty and listening to their ideas and working on ways to better achieve the mission of the University, he said.

Cunningham has invested countless hours in the University since he graduated in 1956. He has served as president of the Houston Baylor Club and the Hankamer School of Business Advisory Council. As a result of Cunningham forming a fund raising team, the Arthur Andersen and Co. Student Center, located between Hankamer School of Business and Cashion Academic Center, was built in 1983. Numerous University students have launched worldwide careers at Arthur Andersen thanks to Cunningham's dedication to recruiting graduates of his alma mater. For 17 years, Cunningham served on the Arthur Andersen Foundation that contributes to accounting and business schools, including the University.

He is a member of the Baylor Development Council and Alpha Rho Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi and served on the Sesquicentennial Council of 150 celebrating the University's century-and-a-half celebration. In 1986, Cunningham was awarded an Outstanding Alumnus Award in the Omicron Delta Kappa Men and Women of Merit program and received the Old Main award. On Jan. 1, Cunningham was named to the University Board of Regents.

Cunningham's wife and daughter are both University graduates and he hopes that his grandchildren will follow in their footsteps as well, he said.

'I have supported Baylor because I believe in its mission and think it does an excellent job in education and providing a Christian environment,' Cunningham said. 'Baylor instills values in people that stays throughout their business careers.'

Cunningham said that he has been a Christian in the business world for 40 years and wants to encourage students that they can stand firm in their faith and be successful in business.

'You can be true to yourself and still succeed,' Cunningham said.

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