Senior Vice President Tom Estes Announces Retirement
Dr. Thomas G. Estes, Mercer University’s senior vice president for finance and administration, has announced his retirement from the university, effective Aug. 31. President William D. Underwood said a national search will begin immediately for Estes’ successor.
“Tom has faithfully served as Mercer’s chief financial officer,” Underwood said. “I have found him to be particularly invaluable during the administrative transition of the past year. He is considered a national leader in higher education finance and is deeply committed to Mercer. I am very grateful for Tom’s service to this institution and to me personally, and I wish him the very best in retirement.”
Estes served as senior vice president for finance and administration from 1992 to 2004, when he retired from Mercer. Former President R. Kirby Godsey brought Estes out of retirement in July 2005 to again fill the leadership post.
“My time at Mercer has been among the most rewarding of my professional career,” Estes said. “I will be observing Mercer with great interest from a distance as it continues to grow in size and prestige. I hope my ties to this institution are never completely severed, as it means so much to me. I wish my colleagues -- among the best you can find -- much success in the future.”
During Estes’ long tenure at Mercer, the University’s budget has increased from $70 million to $191 million, the endowment has grown from $89 million to $172 million, and more than $130 million in new facilities have been constructed. Mercer has opened new Regional Academic Centers in Henry County and Douglas County, added three new schools and colleges and seen its total assets increase by $243 million.
Prior to his Mercer appointment in 1992, Estes served for 16 years as vice president for business and finance at the University of Southern Mississippi. He was also a professor of accounting at USM and held a faculty appointment in accounting at Mercer as well. Estes earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from USM, a master’s in accounting from Oklahoma State University, and a Ph.D. in business from the University of Arkansas.
Estes has been a consultant to a number of colleges and universities across the country and held leadership positions in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the National Association of College and University Business Officers and the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers, serving as that organization’s president in 1994-95. He also has been involved with and served in leadership positions for numerous community and civic organizations.
He and his wife, Fran, have three children and seven grandchildren.