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HOF Winners 2019: Dr. Tom Kelly

Herbert H. Reynolds Retired Faculty Award  

Dr. Tom Kelly first came to Baylor as a student, graduating in 1965. Following graduate school, Tom began his teaching career in 1969 and remained at Baylor for almost 49 years. Tom was a professor of economics and served as director of the Baylor Center for Business and Economic Research, a position he held for 28 years. His economics courses included urban economics, business forecasting, and macroeconomic theory at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He also served as graduate program director for Baylor’s Department of Economics.

Dr. Kelly has developed annual economic forecasts for the Central Texas economy since the early 1980s, leading to a deep understanding of business activity in the region and its connection to national and global conditions. He provides data and insight to prospective investors in Central Texas and regularly contributes his views through the local media. His bi-monthly consumer price index for Central Texas is used by many employers and property owners to adjust wages and rents.

Dr. Kelly consults continuously with civic leaders, bankers, purchasing managers, home builders, and others about local business conditions. He has developed models to measure the local economic impact of Baylor athletics, the Heart of Texas fair complex, the mammoth site, and many other projects. Outside Central Texas, he has examined the economic impacts of stadium investments in other local communities, including an analysis for the City of Arlington of the new Cowboys’ stadium. His involvement in many study groups, such as the VA Hospital task force, has provided valuable service to the local community.

“Tom is famous at the McMullen Faculty Dining Center for saying, “To make a long story short” and then telling a story that takes at least 30-45 minutes for him to tell.” In the Baylor Economics Department, Tom is a ‘utility player’ who can teach any course, a graduate director who cares deeply for our students, and a wonderful colleague who is always ready to help.

*Photo credit to Kathryn Krueger*

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