Undergraduate Blog

In Memoriam: Remembering Professor Richard F. DeMong

Rich DeMong was a beloved professor at the McIntire School of Commerce for more than 30 years.

Retired McIntire Finance Professor Richard F. DeMong passed away peacefully on Aug. 5, 2023, following a courageous battle with glioblastoma. He was a beloved family man, a man of service and faith, an esteemed Commerce School faculty member, a highly decorated U.S. Air Force Colonel, and a friend to all who were blessed to know him.

Born in 1944, DeMong spent his childhood in Illinois and New York before moving to Southern California. After graduating from California State University, Long Beach in 1966 with a degree in Political Science, he joined the U.S. Air Force, flying 896 combat missions in support of operations in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos and serving as Co-Pilot, Pilot, and Instructor in the C-130 aircraft. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, five Air medals, and 15 other medals or ribbons. DeMong left active service in 1972 and served in the Air Force Reserves until his retirement as a Colonel in 1989.

Upon leaving active duty, he returned to his studies and completed his M.B.A. at the College of William & Mary in 1974, with a focus in Finance and Management. He received his Ph.D. in Finance and Management Science from the University of Colorado in 1977.

That same year, DeMong joined the University of Virginia as an Assistant Professor, spending the entirety of his academic career at the Commerce School. Upon his retirement in 2010 as the Virginia Bankers Association Chaired Professor, he wrote in his reflections as being “privileged to know and teach from the Class of 1978 to the Class of 2010.”

During his remarkable academic career at the Commerce School, DeMong was a beloved teacher of many Finance courses and authored numerous articles and books. His research led him to be a sought-after expert on subprime and non-prime mortgage and home equity lending. In 2004, he testified to two subcommittees of the U.S. House of Representatives on the need for federal regulations of subprime and predatory lending. He was humbled to be the first McIntire faculty member selected as the University’s Secretary of the General Faculty, a position dating back to Thomas Jefferson. He also served for many years as the School’s Finance Area Coordinator, chaired the School’s Appointments, Reappointments, Promotion, and Tenure Committee for more than a decade, and was a longstanding faculty adviser to the McIntire Investment Institute student organization.

After his retirement in 2010, DeMong continued as a faculty adviser to the MII and served on the board of the UVA Physicians Group. He was active in community service, including the Rotary Club of Charlottesville, where he was awarded Rotarian of the Year in 2015, and was on the board of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia, the Senior Center, the Charlottesville Committee on Foreign Relations, the Central Virginia Chapter of Military Officers Association of America, and the Village of Innisfree.

Above and beyond all of his vast achievements and interests, DeMong loved and prioritized his family. He penned to his children, “I have accomplished a lot, but none of my accomplishments were as important to me as you all were. I had a great life because I got to know each of you as individuals.”

Read Professor DeMong’s full obituary, published by The Daily Progress on Aug. 12, 2023.

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