Money named Outstanding Citizen of the Year

Posted October 10, 2007 ACU President Dr. Royce Money was named Abilene's Outstanding Citizen of the Year in a ceremony at the Abilene Civic Center, Oct. 9. The Abilene Chamber of Commerce has been honoring individuals with Citizen of the Year awards since 1946.

Money, ACU's tenth president, has been serving the university since 1964, when he was named Dean of Students. The well-loved, soft spoken man said he is "honored" by the award. Dr. John C. Stevens was the last ACU president to win the Outstanding Citizen award in 1981.

Below is a reprint of the article that appeared in the Oct. 9 edition of the Abilene Reporter-News

Right on the Money
ACU president recognized as Outstanding Citizen of the Year

By Brian Bethel
Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Dr. Royce Money, Abilene Christian University's president and the recipient of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce's Outstanding Citizen of the Year award, isn't actually in town all that often.

His demanding schedule traveling for higher education meetings, churches and civic groups have led some folks to joke that Money has earned one of the largest frequent-flier accounts in town.

But people who know him say that even though he's frequently absent from Abilene, and despite his personal humility,, Money casts a long, deep shadow here. His accomplishments were recognized during the chamber's annual membership meeting and banquet Tuesday at the Abilene Civic Center.

"I'm honored," Money said. "I love Abilene, Texas, and I love the citizens of Abilene and West Texas -- my new home and my adopted home. It will be my home as long as God gives me breath."

Money joins a list of notable Abilene businesspeople, politicians, scholars and community volunteers who have been honored as Citizen of the Year. The first honor was given in 1946.

From his work at the university he loves, to building community connections and serving state and national organizations, there's not much Money doesn't do.

But Eddie Sharp, a longtime friend and Money's minister at University Church of Christ, said the university president doesn't do "pretense." Instead, Money leads with an uncanny ability to draw "people of excellence" to him, he said.

"He attracts capable people and helps them thrive," Sharp said.

Jack Rich, senior vice president at ACU, said Money is a great leader both locally and within the broader higher education community.

"He's fun to work with, and he has always given me enough direction, and enough leeway, to get my job done," Rich said.

Money tends to practice "quiet leadership," said Michelle Morris, vice president for university relations at ACU.

Though he has served on a huge number of committees and organizations, many of which he has headed, he isn't one to brag about his accomplishments, she said.

One of Money's biggest talents is his ability to listen, something that helps him in his work on the ACU campus and in every other aspect of his life, Morris said.

"He believes on consensus-building," she said. "That's just his nature. He doesn't believe one person alone is the way to go."

Proof of Money's ability to build teams include consortium efforts with Hardin-Simmons and McMurry universities in Abilene. Examples include the Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing (with Hendrick Medical Center), which includes students at all three schools; the Abilene Library Consortium (with the Abilene Public Library) and an International Studies Consortium.

A look at Money's civic involvement includes everything from Abilene's United Way to the Chamber of Commerce. He has also taken on leadership roles with various higher education groups.

Toss in other labels, such as "author" (Money has written two books on family enrichment), "television presenter" (for Herald of Truth Ministries) and an entire slew of academic career jobs from professor to his current position as ACU's president, and you get someone who could perhaps justifiably have a bit of pride in himself.

But he approaches his work and others with a sense of personal kindness, humility and integrity, Morris said. And Sharp said Money considers everything he does to be a form of personal ministry.

In personal terms, Money is exceptionally family-oriented, Sharp said. Money and his wife, Pam, whom he met at the ACU post office during his freshman year at the school, work hard to maintain a strong, stable personal relationship.

Sharp said that Money maintains a remarkably balanced life, jugging career, family, recreation and laughter, along with an admitted passion for M&Ms with peanuts.

"He cares about you," he said. "And he won't laugh if your golf shot goes in the water. And I don't laugh if his does."

Meet Royce Money

Career: Assistant to ACU dean of students, 1964-66; joined ACU faculty in 1981 as associate professor of marriage and family therapy; moved to Bible department in 1984 to develop and direct ministry program. Named chair of the undergraduate Bible and ministry department, 1986; chair of the graduate Bible and ministry department and ACU's first director of the Doctor of Ministry program, 1987; executive assistant to the president and in 1988 became vice president and provost. Became ACU president in 1991.

Civic involvement: Served on 44-member NCAA Council and as Lone Star Conference president; Abilene Chamber of Commerce chair; board and campaign chair, United Way of Abilene; chair of Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas; chair of Council of Christian Colleges and Universities. Member of the American Council on Education and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities; board member, Association of Texas Colleges and Universities.

Other accomplishments: author of "Building Stronger Families: Family Enrichment in the Home, Church and Community" (1984), and "Ministering to Families: A Positive Plan of Action" (1987); past member and approved supervisor, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy; pulpit minister for congregations in Silver Spring, Md.; Montgomery, Ala.; Springfield, Mo.; and Dallas.