Change – farewell to a phenomenal mentor
Over the course of my career I have had much occasion to celebrate good advice, mentoring, and friendship at the Saunders College of Business. I am especially grateful for all the help that Dr Stan Widrick has given me over the years. It is with huge sadness for the college, but happiness for both himself and Suzie that I report this mega marketing genius has retired. To celebrate his career and successes at guiding many a junior faculty member towards and through tenure my wife and I held a retirement party hosting 'Marketers' both past and present on Friday. As with any major change it brought with it plenty of naval gazing on my part about the changing nature of the college. Looking around I saw the old guard, Julian Yudelson, Pat Sorce, and Phil Tyler (apologies received from Gene Fram by the way who now spends most of his time on the West coast). The college was very different back in 1999 when I was first hired as a young whipper snapper. The internet for instance was causing all sorts of problems regards what courses would need to change (ie ALL OF THEM!), how pedagogy would evolve (ie COMPLETELY) and even whether or not the internet should be capitalized on syllabi (I MEAN COME ON PEOPLE?). Most faculty were still making use of transparencies – I digress – Julian then retired which was my first experience with change within the department. Soon after I left for the UK to complete my research training (PhD). Thankfully when I returned little had changed, Phil and Stan were still at the helm, Deb was relatively new to the scene, Gene was still in 5th gear, but Pat had left to head up a new Print school (still at RIT thankfully). Then in relatively quick succession it seemed we lost Gene, then Phil, and now Stan to the alluring promise of a grade free retirement. Change is upon us! Thankfully the college has made great hiring decisions, both in securing clinical and tenure track faculty. Looking around those marketers present you can't be anything other than equally excited about the quality of the new guard – just as collegial, a group where friendships meet professionally productive relationships – where friends also happen to be colleagues. We cant ask for much more and I am confident this crosses over into huge benefits for our students. All of this however keeps coming back to the impact of one person. Much of what we have to be thankful of resides in Stan's stewardship, first as department chair and then as senior associate dean. Without doubt therefore, Stan, you are an phonemenal mentor and good friend who deserves for sure, a most exceptional retirement! Thanks for all you have done mate.
Dr Hair is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the E Philip Saunders College of Business at RIT.
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