“I’ve had a tremendous amount of good fortune,” says Tom Ingram, looking back on his 40 years of teaching. “It’s hard to believe; it went so fast.” More than half his career has been spent right here at CSU — and this spring, he says, as graduates cross the stage in their caps and gowns, it will hit him that he’s completed his own final year on campus.
Over the years, Ingram has spent some of his time serving as department chair, and also as associate dean at the College of Business.
So, what’s been most rewarding to him? The students, and the effect that teaching has on them. “As a professor, you get some immediate feedback,” he says, “but even better, is knowing that it will have an impact later, too. Sometimes after two, five, even twenty years, former students will say they still remember a particular class. And they’ll tell me it was valuable – they remember it, and they’ve used it in their careers.”
CSU Students and Faculty Stand Out
“The students here take accountability,” says Ingram. “They work hard. And in our college, across all of the departments, we have wonderful instructors and great researchers, too.”
With such a stellar group around him, he says he’s always remained driven to raise his own performance level. “They’re all an inspiration for upping your game,” he says.
In recent years, Ingram acknowledges, he’s worked harder than ever at teaching. This, for him, has becoming increasingly intense. “Early in your career you prepare for your classes, but you don’t know what you don’t know. Then you start to deal with the constant idea of staying relevant and current, and making sure you’re not just giving students a narrow opinion based on your own frame of reference,” he says. “As I’ve worked to remain relevant, I’ve worked harder at things like how you achieve productivity and research; how to be organized and build good files; how to keep track of trends in sales training and sales management. You’re constantly trying to look forward.”
What His Future Holds
“I’m not going to be bored,” says Ingram, who holds a longstanding belief that boredom is the worst state of mind to be in. “I still have publishing projects going on — including textbooks, and wrapping up research. I have a lot of interests, so I’m not worried.”
He notes that he and his wife have been fortunate to travel over the years as well, as his career took him abroad several times. So for now, they’ll be staying in Fort Collins.
“I’m feeling good on the way out,” he says happily. “I feel good about the future of the College, and I hope to stay connected to the CSU community.”
A Rewarding Career
Ingram has been honored with diverse awards during his career. Here’s a short list of his accolades:
- James M. Comer Award for Best Contribution to Selling and Sales Management Theory/Methodology in the Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management; Ingram co-authored the winning paper
- Lifetime Achievement Award from the Selling and Sales Management Interest Group of the American Marketing Association
- Distinguished Sales Educator Award from the University Sales Center Alliance
- Co-author of one of the “Ten Most Influential Articles of the 20th Century” as determined by a poll of the members of the American Marketing Association Sales and Sales Management Special Interest Group. The article, “Salesforce Socialization,” appeared in the October 1986 issue of Journal of Marketing.
We’ve been honored to have Professor Ingram serving CSU and our students in the College of Business for many years. Please join us in wishing him all the best in his life beyond the classroom!