UW-Green Bay faculty economist and Professor of Urban and Regional Studies, Kumar Kangayappan, participated in his final commencement ceremony Saturday, May 14. He will be retiring after a 48-year career with the University. Kangayappan joined the UWGB faculty in 1968, the University’s first year offering upper-level courses.
The University’s senior-most faculty member, Kangayappan, played a special role in Saturday’s ceremony as mace-bearer. The University Mace — a ceremonial staff signifying authority — was carried to the stage by Kangayappan during the commencement procession. The mace-bearer walks just ahead of the chancellor in academic processions, carrying the heavy, silver art object.
The centuries-old academic tradition is believed to be based on medieval practice when a member of the king’s court would carry an ornate club as a symbol and also a symbolic effort of protecting the monarch.
Prof. Kangayappan first served as the mace-bearer at the December 2011 mid-year commencement. Today’s march represented the 10th and final time he will serve as mace bearer.
Kangayappan taught a full load of courses through this semester and has contributed greatly in terms of institutional and community service. With the five years he taught economics in his native India, his college-teaching career dates to 1963.
UW-Green Bay extends fond farewell to Prof. Kumar Kangayappan
Faculty and staff gathered earlier this week to celebrate and honor Prof. Kangayappan’s and almost five decades of service to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Read more here.
An Inspiring Career of Education, Service and Philanthropy
Dr. Kumar Kangayappan received his M.A. in Economics at Annamalai University in India. After coming to the United States, he received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also holds a M.A. degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a B.A. in Economics from University of Madras in India. Since 1968, he has been teaching at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where he is currently the University’s most senior faculty member. He previously taught at the College of Rural Higher Education in India, and was a Visiting Professor of Economics at the National Institute of Bank Management in India from 1972-1973, while on leave from UW-Green Bay.
During his time at UW-Green Bay, Dr. Kangayappan has been Chair of Economics and Chair of Regional Analysis several times. While Chair of Economics in 1984, he worked toward establishing the Economics major and minor programs at UW-Green Bay. Kumar has also served on UW-Green Bay’s Founders Association Board of Directors.
His research interests include economic development, poverty, macroeconomic theory and policy in developing countries, India, and Eastern and Western philosophy. He has been widely published throughout his extensive career.
Courses Dr. Kangayappan has taught include Microeconomic Analysis, Macroeconomic Analysis, Intermediate Micro Economic Theory, History of Economic Thought, Money and Banking, Economics of Land Use, Managerial Economics and many more undergraduate and graduate courses. He has also developed several courses that became part of the curriculum in the Economics and Urban and Regional Studies programs.
In 1984, Dr. Kangayappan and his wife, Dr. Sivu Kangayappan, established the Albert Einstein/Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship recognizing exceptional UW-Green Bay students whose work they feel reflects the qualities of Einstein the scientist and Gandhi the peacemaking humanitarian. Additionally, they have established the Drs. Kumar and Sivu Kangayappan Family Endowed Scholarship at UW-Green Bay, and scholarships at Silver Lake College, UW-Manitowoc, and in Coimbatore and Erode in their native country of India.