ACU business college icon Dr. A. Overton Faubus dies at age 96

Posted August 03, 2010 Dr. A. Overton Faubus, patriarch of Abilene Christian University's internationally accredited College of Business Administration, died Aug. 1 in Abilene at age 96.

Born July 3, 1914, in Fort Worth, Faubus grew up in Waco. He earned a bachelor's degree in accounting (1939) and a M.B.A. (1955) from Texas A&M University, and a Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Arkansas (1969). He joined the ACU business faculty in 1952 as an assistant professor of business administration, and was named chair of the business department in 1969. He retired in 1985 as professor emeritus of accounting, but continued to teach and consult.

ACU students and faculty selected Faubus as Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 1972, and he was honored by his ex-students on Overton Faubus Day in 1980 with the establishment of the Overton Faubus Endowed Professorship in business. He received the Faculty and Staff Award in 1992 from the ACU Alumni Association for his dedication to educating students in COBA, and he was honored in 2005 at a Centennial luncheon for his dedicated service to the university and community. In 2009, ACU's Faubus Fountain Lake was named in his honor.

"All of his students looked up to him. He spoke as easily to them about life and living as he did about accounting," said COBA dean Dr. Rick Lytle. "He had this humble, straightforward, simple approach to life, and was always able to cut to the heart of what was most important. He had a tremendous faith in God and in the ability of this institution to reach higher than we thought we could reach. We are losing a legend, a giant of a man on whose shoulders we stand."

"Regardless of the challenge," said Don W. Crisp, former chair of ACU's Board of Trustees and one of Faubus' accounting students in the mid-1960s, "I have always known there is a wise, godly gentleman in Abilene who is pulling for me."

In 1997, Faubus was named Outstanding Alumnus in Accounting by the Texas A&M School of Business and in 2006, he was selected Alumnus Accountant of the Year by the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. Faubus became a CPA in 1959, and served as president of the Abilene Chapter of the Texas Society of CPAs, as well as a committee member of that organization and the Industrial Development Board of Texas. He was a member of the American Institute of CPAs, American Management Association and American Banking Association, and served on committees for the U.S. Small Business Administration and Federal Reserve. He was a founding partner in 1978 of the Abilene accounting firm of McCurdy, Faubus and Wright, and was active in Abilene’s Kiwanis and Rotary clubs.

For most of his adult life, Faubus served as minister, associate minister or elder of each congregation he attended. He was most recently an elder at Abilene’s Hillcrest Church of Christ, a congregation he first served as a founding elder and minister in 1959.

He married Sybil Cochran in 1939 and their nearly 51-year marriage produced two children – Ann (Faubus) Griggs and Don Faubus, D.V.M. – before Sybil died in 1990. Faubus married Dee Yancy in 1991, and she died in January 2010. Among survivors are his two children, seven grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. at Hillcrest Church of Christ, under the direction of Piersall-Benton Funeral Directors. A time of visitation with the family is from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home (733 Butternut in Abilene). Memorials can be made to ACU's Overton and Sybil Faubus Endowed Scholarship (ACU Box 29132, Abilene, Texas 79699-9132).