Retired Math Professor Gives Back to the Colorado State University Professor Who Inspired Him

Note to Reporters: A photo of Max Stein and Myron S. Henry is available with the news release at

Myron S. Henry almost didn’t get his doctoral degree at Colorado State University. He almost didn’t teach as a professor or serve as an administrator at five major universities around the country.

But thanks to some encouragement from CSU Emeritus Professor F. Max Stein, Henry not only obtained his advanced degrees, he had a long career in a field he loved.

“Max meant a lot to a lot of students,” Henry said in an interview from his Florida home. “He was really important to the evolution of the mathematics department. I was his PhD student and he was pretty influential in guiding me in directions I didn’t think I’d ever go.”

Henry (’65 MS, ’68 PhD), and his wife Mary, have created an endowed scholarship to honor Stein with an initial gift of $22,000. The scholarship will be housed in the Department of Mathematics in the College of Natural Sciences.

The new F. Max Stein and Myron S. Henry Scholarship will help undergraduate math students with financial need.

“They had kind of a new doctoral program and I struggled a little there,” Henry said of his early days at CSU. “I wanted to get a degree in mathematics education and there’s a big difference between getting a bachelor’s in mathematics education and a bachelor’s in mathematics. Max was really helpful – he had me apply for a NASA traineeship, which gave me three years of doctoral support.

“Over the years, he’s been a good advisor, someone to look up to and a good friend.”

“We are grateful for the generous contribution that Dr. and Mrs. Henry have made to the mathematics program in honor of Dr. Stein,” said Jan Nerger, dean of the College of Natural Sciences. “And we are thankful for faculty members such as Dr. Stein who take the time to connect with our students – this is a great example of the wonderful relationships that can occur.”

Henry always visits Stein when he comes to Fort Collins. Back in the day, they’d even play a little tennis together, but Henry wouldn’t comment on who won the games.

Henry and Stein also shared a love of poetry. Earlier this year, Stein submitted a limerick to the university’s Society of Senior Scholars:

His title is College Professor,
On campus, he’s a knowledge possessor. Cares little for looks;
Prefers reading books,
Neath robe, he’s an untidy dresser.

Henry went on to a successful career as a math professor and provost at numerous institutions, serving as professor of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Southern Mississippi from 1998 through 2008. He served as provost of USM from 1998 to 2001. He retired from USM in July 2008, but he continued on a part-time basis until the summer of 2011 through U.S. Department of Education funded grant activity.

From 1992 to 1998, Henry worked as provost and professor of mathematics and computer science at Kent State University in Northeast Ohio. He also held positions at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., where he served as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs (1987-1992); and Central Michigan University, where he was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (1980-1987). Henry worked his way up to full professor at Montana State University (1968-1980), where he served as interim dean of the College of Letters and Science in 1978-1979. In a sabbatical year, Henry taught at North Carolina State University (1975-76). He also briefly taught high school mathematics in Alexandria, Ind.

A native of North Central Indiana, Henry earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and history from Ball State University. With support as a NASA Trainee, Henry earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in mathematics from Colorado State University.