Long-tenured UNT professor dies in car crash
Kevin Barfield / Contributing Writer
Steven Cole, finance professor in the College of Business, died in an automobile accident on March 16 in Shamrock, Texas.
UNT alumnus William Hudson said he dropped Cole off at the airport in Albuquerque, N.M., on the day Cole was returning to Dallas. No other information was released regarding the details of the accident, but Cole, 66, didn’t survive the injuries that resulted from the crash.
Hudson said Cole was a great friend and colleague who kept in contact with him after graduation. Cole had been an inspiration and a motivation for much of Hudson’s work in finance.
“As far as teaching goes, he’s the best professor I’ve ever had,” Hudson said. “I learned how to teach because of him.”
Marcia Staff, chair of the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Law department at UNT, said Cole enthusiastically taught students the mechanics of financial business and helped develop organizations at the College of Business.
“He was one of those people who always considered the needs of the organization,” Staff said. “He was quite selfless, and those kind of people are few and far in between.”
Cole was one of the first faculty members to be hired in the FIREL department and taught for 25 years at UNT. He had received numerous university awards for his performance such as the outstanding faculty award of service, the outstanding educator award, and the Sigma Phi Epsilon outstanding faculty award.
Along with his performance in teaching, Cole contributed to research with doctoral students in areas of financial and capital management, Budget and Administration Director Cheryl Martin said.
“He provided what we call ‘service,’” Martin said.
His “service” was also noted by his simple interactions and care for his students. Finance doctoral student Mujtaba Zia said Cole’s interactions were not simple and standard like most conversations between students and teachers.
“Dr. Cole would stop, shake hands, ask how things are going, share personal experiences and wish the best,” Zia said.
Cole was born in on July 27, 1947 in Poplar Bluff and raised in Leeper, Mo. His father and mother were Harry and Wanda Cole. Cole married Faith Brown in 1967 and had three daughters.
Cole graduated Missouri State University with a Masters in Finance and earned a Ph.D. in finance from the University of Arkansas in 1989. He came to the University of North Texas in 1988 as an assistant professor.
Cole is survived by his three daughters – Kelli Ladwig, Karen Sood and Leah Dixon. He also leaves two brothers, Boyd Cole and Brad Cole; two sisters, Sandy Crane and Middy Green; and four grandchildren, Madden and Samantha Ladwig and Mika and Karisma Sood.
A funeral service was held in Springfield, Mo. at Greenlawn East Funeral Home at 11:00 a.m. on March 23 and buried at Greenlawn Memorial Cemetery. Staff said the College of Business is suggesting a possible memorial for Cole to be held at the BLB, but details have not been released.
Hudson is also working to publish a financial paper discussing credit default valuation that he co-authored along with Cole and FIREL professor Imre Karafiath. Hudson said the paper will be published in honor of Cole’s memory.
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