First Chair Endowed for Creighton Mathematics Professor by Former Student
Creighton University Mathematics Professor and Director of the Center for Fuzzy Mathematics and Computer Science John N. Mordeson, Ph.D., (right) was installed as the first holder of the Mordeson Chair in Mathematics, endowed in his honor by George F. Haddix, Ph.D and Sally Hansen Haddix. This is the first time a chair at the University has been endowed by a former student and educator for one of his professors. The ceremony took place Monday, May 1, in the Skutt Student Center on Creighton’s campus.
The Haddix family of Ralston, Neb., donated $1.5 million to fund the new endowed chair, reaffirming their continuing commitment to education as a critical success factor for life. This continues the support the family has given to the Center for Fuzzy Mathematics and Computer Science. George Haddix, Chairman and CEO of PKWARE, Inc., a security software company based in Milwaukee, Wis., was a student of Professor Mordeson’s, earning his master’s in mathematics from Creighton in 1966 and writing his thesis under Mordeson’s direction. He also was a mathematics professor at Creighton from 1969-1971 and serves on the University’s Board of Directors. Sally is a former third-grade elementary school teacher, who taught for 12 years in Springfield, Neb.
“The creation of this chair is our way of honoring the tremendous work of Dr. Mordeson as a mathematician, a teacher and a member of the Creighton community,” George Haddix said. “One of the great wheels that turn the U.S. engine of opportunity and prosperity is the education system. The Jesuit universities and colleges are perhaps the finest examples of the type of higher education required to keep the entire system in balance.”
Mordeson began his teaching career at Creighton as an assistant professor in 1963, attaining full professorship in 1971. Subsequently, he became the chairman of the mathematics department in 1976. He has also served as the director of the University’s graduate program and computer program, and was named director of the Center for Fuzzy Mathematics and Computer Science in 1994. The center fosters cross-cultural collaboration around the globe and assists in the publishing of theories and research. The center is one of only a handful of institutions to concentrate on research in fuzzy math in the science of mathematical uncertainty.
Endowed chairs are hallmarks of great universities and are the key to providing scholarships and quality faculty for future generations of students. The Mordeson Chair is the 26th endowed chair for Creighton University and the sixth in the College of Arts and Sciences.