Sterling Schoen died 16 years ago. This obituary originally ran in the Washington University Record on Dec. 9, 1999. It is reprinted here with permission.
Sterling H. Schoen, Ph.D., professor emeritus of management for the John M. Olin School of Business, died Saturday, Nov. 20, 1999, at Missouri Baptist Medical Center after suffering a heart attack. He was 81.
From 1950 until he retired in 1988, Schoen was a professor of management for the Graduate School of Business, named the Olin School in 1988. He taught courses in organizational behavior and labor relations, among others.
In the early 1960s Schoen realized that business schools could take a more active and constructive role in promoting equal opportunity employment, and, toward that goal, he founded the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management in 1966. It offers full merit-based scholarships to minority students in MBA programs. Begun with three universities, Washington University included, the consortium has grown to include nine other major universities.
Funds for scholarships were raised by Schoen and many consortium board members from private corporations, foundations and resources of member schools. He directed the consortium until 1980, when he returned to full-time teaching. Since the organization’s founding, it has brought more than 3,000 minority men and women into the ranks of American business management.
Schoen was the co-author of several textbooks, and he served as a management consultant to companies such as Mallinckrodt and Monsanto Co., as well as the U.S. Civil Service Commission. He was named Man of the Year by the Association for the Integration of Management in 1976; he was recognized for Distinguished Service and Leadership by the consortium in 1991 and chosen as 1998 Teacher of the Year by the University’s MBA students.
Schoen, who lived in St. Louis, was born in Daggett, Mich., and reared in Des Peres, Wis. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics (magna cum laude) from Lawrence College (now University) in Appleton, Wis.; a master’s degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin in Madison; and both a master’s of business administration degree in management (with distinction) and a doctoral degree in management from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was active in many professional, honorary and social organizations. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Patricia Schoen, two sons, Chris Schoen of Canton, Ohio, and Richard Schoen of Evanston, Ill; a daughter, Jennifer Jeffrey of Clayton; a sister, Norma Maxfield of Madison, Wis; and three grandchildren.