NSights Blog

'It is time to move on'

After 44 years at the University, Economics Professor Thomas Cargill says his time at the University has been fulfilling

(Editor's note: On May 5, Economics Professor Thomas Cargill delivered the following remarks during a College of Business gathering to celebrate Cargill's 44 years at the University. Cargill is retiring from his position.)

I would like to thank Greg and Mehmet for this celebration, to you for coming even if a "free dinner" might have been part of the incentive and congratulate Bill for his service to UNR.

In a broader sense, however, I want to thank the people of Nevada and the people at the University of Nevada, Reno. They provided me the opportunity to devote 44 years of service to Nevada as a teacher and researcher of economics. I want to thank the many students I have had over the years at UNR and elsewhere, for giving me the opportunity to provide insight into the wonderful world of economics.

Being a professor is the best job in the world and especially for me. It was a small group of teachers that provided that spark to understand the world around me and that desire to do something useful for society. To leave a mark.

My mother died when I was 10, and while not a juvenile delinquent, I was subject to many influences - not all of them good. It was a teacher at age 13 who gave me a tough love lecture of what it meant to be a serious person. Thank you, Bob Cook.

It was a number of teachers at Mission High School in San Francisco that saw something in me and encouraged me to direct my energy to learning. It was Father Marianan at USF who introduced me to Plato's Allegory of the Cave. The short chapter in Plato's Republic set me on the path to teaching and research with the intent of explaining the shadows on the back of the cave, even if the message was not always appreciated.

The tribute to these individuals is the fact that I have been a teacher of economics and political economy for 50 years and have established a reasonable research record and provided service in a variety of ways to the wonderful people of Nevada.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention Mary, my wife of 53 years this August. She has indeed been the "wind under my wing."

What can I pass on to you? I have institutional perspective after 44 years at UNR and this much I know, teaching and research go hand and hand and one can establish a national/international reputation in research at UNR. I did it and so can you.

It is now time to leave my beloved profession and shift to a different plane in my life. My cup is near empty. I have run the race and competed well. I will be 75 May 24 and in 2016 at the end of my last class, I completed 50 years of teaching.

I am a fortunate man. I am a happy man. My dreams of having an impact through education and research have come true. It is time to move on. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Thomas Cargill