A Fond Farewell to Jerry Hass
Jerome “Jerry” E. Hass, Professor Emeritus of Finance and Business
Strategy at Johnson and Cornell University’s Alan Krause Faculty
Fellow in Real Estate Finance, died unexpectedly on Monday, Jan.
22, in Ithaca. Previously Johnson’s James B. Rubin Professor of
Finance, Jerry was a beloved faculty member at Cornell, where he
taught many generations of grateful students beginning in 1967.
Jerry retired to emeritus status in 2008, yet remained actively
involved at Johnson. At a celebration in the Dyson Atrium of
Sage Hall in June of that year, Jerry quoted the Beatles: “You say
goodbye, I say hello, hello, hello,” he said. “It’s a strange kind of
retirement, because I’m not going anywhere!”
Calling him a “scholar, architect, visionary...one who sees opportunity
and fulfills it,” Professor Emeritus of Accounting and
long-time colleague Tom Dyckman said that “Hass has taught
more courses and more students than anyone in the history of the
Indeed, Jerry continued to actively teach at Johnson; it was a vocation about which he was passionate. He was scheduled to teach Cornell Lectures in Finance in spring 2013, a popular course, which brought high-level finance professionals to his Sage Hall classroom.
While Jerry’s engaging teaching style was legendary among several generations of MBA students, he was also a nationally recognized expert in the areas of corporate finance, energy and regulatory economics and policy, applied microeconomics, managerial finance, security analysis and investment management, and business strategy. He had testified more than fifty times in state and federal regulatory and judicial systems, as well as before both houses of Congress.
Jerry received a BA degree from St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minn., an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton), and a PhD degree in economics from Carnegie-Mellon University. During his distinguished career at Cornell University, he served Johnson in many capacities, including director of the Public Administration Program (1979-1982); director of the Managerial Skills Program (1994-95); coordinator of the Investment Banking Immersion Program (1998-2001); and academic director of the Executive MBA Program (1998-2000). His writings include co-authorship with long-time friend and colleague Harold “Hal” Bierman Jr. of the seminal text, An Introduction to Managerial Finance (1973). Jerry also served as special consultant to the National Economic Research Associates, Inc. beginning in 1983, and as senior consultant to Charles River Associates beginning in 2011.
The post-retirement years saw Jerry actively consulting, serving on boards, tending his farm, enjoying his five children and ten grandchildren, and traveling with his wife, Jo. He also continued working as company treasurer for Ithaca Agway, a business owned by his daughter and son-in-law, Marna and Andy Boerman.
Jerry shared his love of country living with the Johnson community for 26 years at an annual Johnson Graduation Picnic, held each May on the Hass Farm, 16 miles north of Ithaca. “Like Cornell’s graduation,” Jerry wrote in his annual invitation, “We defer this picnic only when a tornado has been spotted.” The Hass family welcomed graduates, visiting family members, children, faculty, staff, friends — all were invited to the annual celebration. “We expect more than 250 people, but have virtually unlimited capacity,” Jerry wrote. That unlimited capacity extended far beyond the party, to virtually every area of a life lead with utmost generosity.