Rudolph Conrad Doenges has served with distinction as teacher, scholar, and administrator since coming to The University of Texas at Austin in Fall 1964. Conrad was born in Tonkawa, Oklahoma, on December 7, 1930, and grew up in Colorado.
Doenges was valedictorian of his Colorado Springs high school. From there he enrolled in Harvard College, graduating magna cum laude in history in 1952. He remained in Cambridge for another two years, earning an MBA in finance and marketing from the Harvard Business School , which enabled him to add Beta Gamma Sigma, Sigma Iota Epsilon, and Phi Kappa Phi memberships to his Phi Beta Kappa key.
Following a brief stint as a marketing analyst for Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan, Doenges entered active duty in the Supply Corps of the U.S. Navy. He continued as a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve until retiring with the rank of commander in 1979. The end of his period on active duty permitted him to participate in a number of consulting and other business activities, including his family’s Colorado firms, until he entered the graduate program of the University of Colorado in 1962.
At The University of Texas, Doenges earned a reputation as a superlative teacher. He received the College of Business Administration (CBA) Student Council Award in 1970, became the first recipient in 1973 of the coveted Joe D. Beasley Award for Teaching Excellence in the Graduate School of Business, and was named the “Eyes of Texas” Excellence Award winner in 1991. He held visiting professorships at the Graduate School of Business of the University of Stellenbosch (Republic of South Africa) and at the McIntire School of Commerce of the University of Virginia.
Doenges was widely praised for his service contributions both within and outside the University. His committee work extended to memberships on the University-wide Educational Policy Committee, the Armed Forces ROTC Appointment Review Committee in the College of Liberal Arts, and business school committees. From 1972 to 1976, he was the school’s associate dean, with responsibilities for three master’s degree programs; he following four years he chaired the finance department.
Conrad had a keen sensitivity to students. He applied high standards, but also looked for solutions to students’ problems in a most non- bureaucratic fashion. In the spring of 1997, Conrad announced his retirement from the faculty and began the University’s three-year phased retirement program. Regrettably, his declining health did not permit him to complete that program. Seldom has a colleague, by virtue of both his academic competence and his unswerving personal integrity, earned such high respect among all who knew him.