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President Pays Tribute to Business Dean

Keith A. Russell, Ph.D. joined our St. Mary’s University community in January 2005, when he was appointed business school dean. Sadly, Keith passed away Wednesday, April 9, 2008, at the age of 61.

Although at St. Mary’s for only a short time, Keith Russell’s impact on the Bill Greehey School of Business was enormous and far-reaching. With the gift of $25 million in December 2005 to endow the school, Keith provided exemplary leadership. That gift signaled an unprecedented transformation to excellence in business education in San Antonio and the region.

At the top of the list of initiatives Keith implemented were raising the standards in the business school through the introduction of the Greehey Scholars Program and the one-year MBA program. In addition, the advancement of innovation became evident through the completion of the Bill Greehey School of Business trading room and its attendant student-managed portfolio investment course. Just recently, Keith successfully led the business school through the AACSB re-accreditation process.

Another priority of Keith’s was the advancement of internationalization at the business school. His initiatives led to cooperative exchange agreements with universities in Germany, China and Taiwan, and he introduced a leadership certification program for Mongolian business executives.

Keith was well-connected to the San Antonio business community, creating numerous opportunities for our own students. More importantly, however, he quickly embraced education in the Marianist tradition and spirit, fully supporting the University’s mission of providing education that creates business leaders with superior professional skills and the desire to make the world a better place. Keith Russell was the consummate “people person” who enjoyed nothing better than to engage students and colleagues in conversation. He will be deeply missed.