Robert Mayer in 1968
Courtesy of U of I Archives
Robert W. Mayer, Professor Emeritus of Finance, died at the age of 89, on August 24 in Champaign. A native of Mt. Pulaski, Illinois, he earned a B.S. in Accounting, Banking, and Finance in 1930 from UIUC, then went on to earn his master's (1931) and doctorate (1933) in Economics from the university. In 1945 he became a faculty member in the Department of Finance, from which he retired in 1977. Dr. Mayer also served on the faculties of Lehigh University and Illinois State University, Normal. During World War II he held the position of senior economist for the U.S. War Production Board, and later served as a consultant for the Rand Corporation. A founding member of the American Finance Association and former president of the Midwest Finance Association, he was active in a variety of professional and social organizations. He is survived by three daughters and four grandchildren. His wife, Nella DeAtley, died in 1984. He was also preceded in death by his daughter, Anne Shannon, and brother, Norman C. Mayer.

There are those who might contend that the late Julian Simon's character was synonymous with his pivotal work — The Ultimate Resource. A formidable adversary of conservation and environmental constraints on the free market, he exhibited boundless optimism in the limitless ingenuity of the human intellect.

The long-time University of Illinois professor of economics and business administration — he was a member of the CBA faculty from 1963 to 1983 — Simon had risen to world prominence before his unexpected death, February 8, 1998, at the age of sixty-five. A professor of business administration at the University of Maryland and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, Simon achieved international renown for his controversial free market theories on population, resources, and the environment. After earning an undergraduate degree from Harvard and an MBA and a doctorate in business economics from the University of Chicago, he launched his career by teaching marketing and advertising, then went on to make his name by challenging the assumptions of environmental conservationists and championing immigration. Simon was widely published, with more than a dozen books, almost two hundred studies, and dozens of articles in newspapers and consumer magazines to his credit. His seminal work, The Ultimate Resource, outlines the limitless possibilities offered by that resource — the human intellect. He was also a benefactor to many air travelers — whether they know it or not — for inventing the "auction" system.

Simon's passing inspired many public tributes in newspapers around the country. Speaking at Simon's funeral, Urbana attorney Jack Waaler bid his old friend
and neighbor farewell with these words: "From what I read and heard from others about Julian's scholarly achievements, I knew he walked with kings — but here was a man that never lost the common touch. Julian received many awards and accolades attesting to his intellectual achievements, but if there was
an award for being a loving and caring person, he would have had a shelf full of those trophies too . . . From Julian, I learned the art of looking for the hidden assumptions and to examine them closely. He had a superior ability to analyze matters down to their bare bones, but he also saw the irony and humor in everyday life."

The Gift of Friendship

When Julian Simon died, A. James and Nancy Heins redirected half of their $100,000 bequest to the college to be used in honor of their friend and Jim's former colleague. The other half will remain with the EMBA program.

"Julian Simon was a great American and my dear friend," Heins reminisced. "He was an idol to me. And it's not often you're entitled to have an idol as a close friend." Heins struck up his longstanding friendship with Simon while they were fellow members of the economics faculty. "His death was a shock and such a great loss." Jim noted, "Recently I got a free plane ticket from TWA when I was on an overbooked flight. I raised my eyes to heaven and said, `Thank you, Julian.'"

Paul Wells, UIUC Professor Emeritus of Economics, died on June 10, 1998, in Menlo Park, California. An internationally recognized authority on economics, the distinguished academic and long-time CBA faculty member was seventy-two.

A Stanford graduate with a Ph.D. in economics, Wells launched his career as an economist with the Rand Corporation, then began teaching at California State University. Joining the UIUC faculty in 1957, he taught economics for thirty-six years at the university. His many publications include Post Keynesian Economic Theory, his most recent book. An editor for The Journal of Post-Keynesian Economics, Wells served as a teaching fellow at Harvard and as visiting professor at many universities in the U.S. and abroad. In the mid-sixties he spent a year in Bangkok establishing a graduate program in economics, political science, government, and accounting at Thammasat University.

A member of a UIUC committee to increase African American enrollment and faculty, Wells was also a founding member of the Illinois Alliance Against Nuclear Arms, and spoke widely on the subject of arms control. An accomplished gardener and tennis player who loved modern jazz, the arts, and nature, he was widely read in literature and the science. He is survived by his wife, Joanne Glander Wells, two stepchildren, and five grandchildren. Robert Mayer in 1968.