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August Petersen, a former student leader at East Central University and a senior partner, officer, board member, investor and consultant to numerous Texas business ventures for more than 25 years, will be the speaker for ECU's annual Boswell Lecture on Monday [NOV. 5].

He will discuss "Inspiring Success" at 7 p.m. in the Estep Multimedia Center on the first floor of the University Center. The lecture is open to the public.

Petersen, who attended ECU on an athletic scholarship, took an active role in several student organizations and was elected Student Senate president for two consecutive years. Majoring in accounting and business administration, he graduated with honors and was named the university's Outstanding Student and the Business School's Most Distinguished Graduate.

He is a former trustee of the ECU Foundation Inc.

Petersen also is a faculty member at the University of Texas where he has taught undergraduate and MBA classes in accounting, corporate finance, real estate finance and strategic management. He has served jointly on the faculty of UT's Institute of Commercial Capitalism and the School of Engineering where he has developed and taught courses on entrepreneurship, technology commercialization and financial management.

Petersen earned a master of professional accountancy degree with highest honors from the UT and joined the Austin office of the international accounting firm Touche Ross.

He left public accounting to become a founding partner of The Watson Group, a Texas partnership that became the largest diversified real estate firm in Austin. He had senior management responsibilities for more than 50 real estate business entities, development projects and investment properties.

The projects included one of the nation's largest historical rehabilitations, Central Texas' largest new constructions of commercial, retail and industrial office space, as well as several thousand acres of land developments. The partners also were the primary advisers for two of Austin's most successful economic development efforts: the MCC computer research consortium and the Austin division of 3M Corporation.

Petersen later became the managing partner of Petersen-Watson Interests to focus on long-term land investment and development opportunities.

A licensed CPA and real estate broker, he has been the national chairman and lead speaker the past five years for a series of accounting and financial reporting conferences held in major cities across the country. He was a founding officer and a contributing editor for the Austin Business Journal.

His professional and civic involvement led to his selection as a national finalist in the White House Fellowship program. He has been named as one of the Outstanding Young Men of America and named to Who's Who in American Finance and Emerging Leaders of America.

The S.C. Boswell Award, based on effective classroom teaching, professional development, involvement in student activities and contributions to the department, school and university, is presented annually to a faculty member in ECU's School of Business.

The recipient carries the title of S.C. Boswell professor during his or her term, receives a stipend based on income from the S.C. Boswell Memorial Charitable Trust and sponsors a free, public lecture or forum on topics of interest related to business. All full-time faculty of the School of Business are eligible to apply for the award.

Boswell was a respected Ada businessman who served on the Board of Regents for Oklahoma Colleges for 18 years. He donated funds for the construction of ECU's Boswell Chapel in memory of his wife Kathryn. He helped organize the Ada Industrial Development Corporation and establish Valley View Regional Hospital in 1935. Boswell was president of the hospital's board of directors for 12 years.

The Boswell Trust was established through the ECU Foundation Inc. in 1975 by Boswell's daughters, Sara Boswell and Jane Boswell Maher, in order to help attract and hold outstanding faculty members in business.


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