Kelli Levey, January 18th, 2012
Richard Hanus ’76 honored his late father by creating a scholarship to benefit the accounting department at Mays Business School. The Houston resident donated $25,000 toward establishing the Lawrence Hanus Memorial Scholarship in Accounting at Mays.
Richard Hanus says he appreciated the opportunity to honor his father. “I liked the “permanence’ of establishing an endowment in my dad’s name, and wished to credit him with some of my achievements,” he says. “He taught me fiscal discipline, conservatism, and doing more than is required to create value, which has served my firm and clients well.”
Richard Hanus ’76 (pictured here with his wife, Donna) honored his late father, Lawrence Hanus, by creating a scholarship to benefit the accounting department. “He would really enjoy what the scholarship does to foster individual development and growth,” Richard says.
Lawrence Hanus taught an accounting/bookkeeping course at McKenzie/Baldwin Business School in Bryan in the 1950s and assisted others in tax return preparation. “He was always focused on doing things right and being precise,” his son says. “Dad also encouraged education and made sacrifices with mom to ensure my brother, sister and I received a good education. All three of us and several of our children have received degrees from Texas A&M, with others still in progress. He would really enjoy what the scholarship does to foster individual development and growth.”
Richard has served on the Accounting Advisory Council spanning a number of years. And, as a partner at Ernst & Young, he and his wife Donna have supported corporate gifts and endowments through its matching gifts program. Donna and Richard believe in supporting education and are currently recognized as members of the A&M Legacy Society. “This was an opportunity to do something above and beyond the E&Y programs to benefit the department and give some recognition to a key influencer,” he says.
Mays Dean Jerry Strawser says the accounting program has been “hugely successful because of the passion and support of former students like Richard â€¦ He has given back to this program through his time, energy and financial resources to make it among the nation’s elite.”
James Benjamin, accounting professor and department head, said Richard Hanus was in the first group of students he taught when he arrived at Texas A&M. “I remember him as a dedicated student with a genuine personality,” Benjamin says. “He had a quiet sense of humor and seemed to be well-liked by his classmates. Those traits do not seem to have changed over time.”
Benjamin says he kept up with Hanus from early in his career, and has not been surprised with his success in public accounting and his accomplishments in life. “He has been a very effective auditor and he is now a leader in his firm in advising other partners on technical accounting issues,” he says.
Hanus became an advocate for Texas A&M early in his career with Ernst & Young, Benjamin recalls. In the early 1980s, Hanus and an Ernst & Young partner (who was not an Aggie) convinced the firm leadership to commit to funding one of the first few professorships in the business school. He was also involved in the subsequent funding of several other E&Y endowments in support of the accounting program.
“Richard understands the importance of scholarship support for our students and he has assured me that he plans to add to the endowment over time,” Benjamin says. “I really appreciate the impact that Richard has had on our program through his advice and financial support, and I have also been fortunate to have him as a friend.”