David M. Cole

David M. Cole

The David M. Cole Award in Economics and Finance was established by the faculty of the Economics and Finance Department to pay tribute to Dr. Cole, professor of Economics and Finance from 1966-1977, for his devotion to scholarly activities and his pursuit of academic excellence. Dr. Cole was a WWII Navy veteran and moved to Florida in 1977. He passed away in 2000, but designated his scholarship fund at UWL as a beneficiary of his estate.

Here is an article from the 2000-2001 alumni magazine.

Few would say David M. Cole was a dynamic lecturer or classroom performer. But, the former College of Business Administration faculty member and economist is remembered as a consummate scholar who generously shared his far-reaching knowledge and understanding of economic institutions and theory. He was an educator who cared a great deal about students learning. Cole, a member of the economics department from 1966-1977, died Feb. 22, 2000, in Winter Park, Fla. His concern for students was so great he left a fifth of his considerable estate – more than $450,000 – to the scholarship colleagues established in his name years ago.

Cole earned his doctorate at Columbia University in 1956. After serving 10 years with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as a financial economist, he joined the UW-L faculty in 1966. He taught money and banking, history of economic thought, public finance, and occasionally the introductory course. “We tended to have him in the upper division courses because he was so qualified,” recalls Professor of Economics Emeritus Lawrence Daellenbach. The slender, shy man was a consummate scholar from the “old school” of economics that was not so quantitative. Students and colleagues could ask him about economic history, theory, institutions, and how it worked, tapping a compendium-of~kn0wledge.

CBA colleagues honored him at his retirement by setting up the scholarship for economics students. Daellenbach, Richard Schoenberger and Doug Sweetland wanted to honor his commitment to excellence. It was almost a necessity to set up a scholarship to reward worthy students, according to Daellenbach. “We’re economists who believe in rewarding excellence.” However, Cole was never asked to contribute. The fund grew over the years from faculty contributions. "He knew I contributed to the scholarship and would thank me for it,‘’ explains Schoenberger.
In a 1995 letter to Daellenbach, Cole mentioned the scholarship and his pride in it. “It is a pleasure to know the fund has grown~ and has helped some worthy scholars,” Cole wrote. “Persons who take their educational opportunities seriously need all the encouragement they can get.”
“Doc” Cole gave his all to educating students but "he burned inside when students didn’t try," recalls Daellenbach. “If a student was interested they learned an awful lot from him.” Schoenberger saw Cole’s dedication, too. “He was really dedicated to students and was always available,” says Schoenberger. “He was up here [in his office] all the time.”

The David M. Cole Scholarship points back to the man’s values and interests, though. It helps students who want to learn. “Those of us who knew him had infinite respect for him,” says Daellenbach.


The first award was made in 1976 and will continue forever. The David M. Cole Scholarship in Economics & Finance is one of the largest scholarship funds in the College of Business Administration and provides more than $10,000 in scholarships annually. The power of an endowment!