RUSTON — Dr. Bob and Mary Cunningham, of Bossier City, have made a $150,000 gift to benefit Louisiana Tech University’s College of Business. Part of the University’s “Forever Loyal” Campaign, their gift provides support for the Dr. Bob and Mary Cunningham Scholarship Fund, building and technology upgrades, and programming within the College.
“We’re eternally grateful to Bob and Mary for their generosity,” said Dr. Chris Martin, dean of the College of Business. “This gift shows their ongoing commitment to the success of the College of Business and, most importantly, our students.”
The Dr. Bob and Mary Cunningham Scholarship was established to support the educational opportunities of African American students studying accounting, business administration, or entrepreneurial management from Bienville, Caddo, or Bossier parishes. In 2016, Mary also started The Henderson Sisters Scholarship along with her three sisters who also are Tech graduates. This scholarship helps students pay for books and incidental expenses.
“We’ve been blessed with so much, and the Bible teaches that to whom much is given, much is required,” said Bob. “The fact that we can give something back to the University that has given us so much is an honor as well as a blessing. Throughout my career in teaching and in business, my degree from Tech’s College of Business has always given me instant credibility.”
Bob is a three-time graduate of the College of Business, where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1973, Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in 1985, and Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree in 1996. Mary received a bachelor’s degree in music in 1975 and a master’s in 1982. The couple met during their studies at Louisiana Tech.
Today, Bob serves as CEO of the Heritage Group, a consulting firm specializing in the higher education sector, and the Cunningham Group, a fraud investigation company. His entrepreneurial spirit and love of accounting have been woven throughout his career — from starting his own delivery business immediately after college and later an accounting practice, to serving as an instructor at both Louisiana Tech and Grambling State University. In 1999, he and a partner purchased a cable contracting construction company through a partnership with a large telecommunications company where he worked fulltime after his retirement from teaching in 2006. The company was sold in June 2015. In addition to those interests, Bob has served as the evangelist for Queensborough Church of Christ in Shreveport since 1984.
Mary retired after serving 22 years as a music specialist for Caddo Parish Schools. The couple has three children and five grandchildren.