Campus Life

Mays Business School Marketing Professor Honored with 2024 SEC Faculty Achievement Award

Dr. Leonard L. Berry is being recognized by the Southeastern Conference for extraordinary achievement in teaching and research.
By Texas A&M University Mays Business School February 21, 2024

A photo of Dr. Leonard Berry standing among books in a library.
Dr. Leonard Berry has been named Texas A&M University’s 2024 Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award winner.

Mays Business School


Dr. Leonard L. Berry, University Distinguished Professor of Marketing at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School, has been named the university’s recipient of the 2024 Southeastern Conference (SEC) Faculty Achievement Award. This honor recognizes Berry’s extraordinary accomplishments in research and scholarship.

Berry is one of the pioneers of services marketing in the marketing discipline. His work has resulted in his being only the second individual to receive each of the “Big 4 Marketing Awards.” In addition to receiving numerous teaching awards, Berry also is the most highly cited faculty member in the Texas A&M University System, with 249,923 citations on Google Scholar as of Feb. 16, 2024. Over the course of his career, he has co-authored 10 books, including the best-selling book, “Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic.”

“Dr. Berry is a scholar without equal in his field. His research defined the field of services marketing — and his interdisciplinary work has allowed him to apply his expertise in the health care industry, an area in which he has made a significant impact,” said Dr. Nate Y. Sharp, dean of Mays Business School. “He is also the consummate educator, encouraging his students to own their academic journey and expand their individual horizons through application, research and innovation.”

The SEC Faculty Achievement Award, which was first presented in 2012, represents the pinnacle of scholarly achievement and highlights the vital role that educators play in advancing the mission of the SEC and its institutions. “The SEC Faculty Achievement Awards provide an annual opportunity to recognize and encourage the work of outstanding faculty members on our campuses,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “Although we honor 14 individuals for their contributions, we know they are representative of all SEC faculty.”

To be eligible, faculty members must have achieved the rank of full professor and have a record of extraordinary teaching — particularly at the undergraduate level — and nationally or internationally recognized scholarship. Winners receive an honorarium from the conference and serve as their university’s respective nominee for the SEC Professor of the Year Award, which will be presented at the annual SEC Awards Dinner in Destin, Florida.

Berry is the 12th Texas A&M faculty member — and second Mays faculty member — to receive this honor. Dr. Stephen McDaniel, a professor of marketing at Mays, was recognized in 2014.

Berry, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver and a Ph.D. from Arizona State University, joined Texas A&M in 1982 as the founding director of Mays’ Center for Retailing Studies. He continued in this role until 2000.

When he joined Mays, the fields of services marketing and service quality did not exist because marketing faculty did not recognize the different challenges in marketing a tangible product, such as an automobile or a food product, versus an intangible service, such as transportation, health care and telecommunications. Berry’s work, along with two Mays marketing colleagues, A. Parasuraman and Valarie Zeithaml, and a small group of other researchers around the world, began to change this perspective.

A 2001-2002 development leave at the prestigious Mayo Clinic proved to be a watershed moment in Berry’s career. Afterward, he shifted his research focus to pioneer the study of service quality improvement in health care. His health care research has been published in numerous prestigious medical journals, including Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Annals of Internal Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and Journal of Oncology Practice.

Berry has continued to study health care service improvement in association with the Mayo Clinic, Henry Ford Health, Gundersen Health System, ThedaCare and Bellin Health System. He also serves as a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, where he studies service improvement in cancer care for patients and their families, and as an adjunct professor with University of Southern Denmark’s Faculty of Health Sciences.

Over the years, both Texas A&M and Mays have recognized Berry for his professional contributions. He received Texas A&M’s Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching (1990) and the Distinguished Achievement Award in Research (1996 and 2008), the highest honors bestowed upon the university’s faculty members. Mays Business School awarded Berry with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Research and Scholarship in 2015.

Berry also holds the M.B. Zale Chair in Retailing and Marketing Leadership and is a University Distinguished Professor of Marketing, a Regents Professor, and a Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence.

A former national president of the American Marketing Association, Berry is a Fellow of both the American Marketing Association (AMA) and the Academy of Marketing Science (AMS).

He has received significant external accolades during his career, including The Sheth Foundation Medal in 2018, the AMA William L. Wilkie “Marketing for a Better World” Award in 2018, the AMA Paul D. Converse Award in 2008, and the AMA/McGraw-Hill/Irwin Distinguished Marketing Educator Award in 2007. He also has been the recipient of the AMA Career Contributions to Services Marketing Award and the AMS Outstanding Marketing Educator Award

Berry and his wife, Nancy, established the Dr. Leonard L. Berry Chair in Services Marketing at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School through a $1 million gift to the Texas A&M Foundation in 2021. The couple also established the Berry-AMA Book Prize for the Best Book in Marketing and the Mayo Clinic’s Mae Berry Award in Service Excellence.

Media contact: Brooke Perry,

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