January 24, 2013

Cornell Professor Hass Remembered As A ‘Person of Action’

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Colleagues remembered Prof. Emeritus Jerome Hass, finance, who died unexpectedly Tuesday, as a committed teacher and friend. Hass, who began teaching at Cornell in 1967, was 72 years old.

Hass’ commitment to his profession was clear to everyone who observed his work ethic, said Prof. Emeritus Thomas R. Dyckman, accounting, one of Hass’ close friends.

“[Hass] continually took on extra work — taking extra courses [and] doing things he wasn’t required to do as a professor,“ Dyckman said.

Dyckman also recalled Hass as a “generous” person — someone who mentored graduate students in the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management and took them on field trips.

In addition to helping his students “become professionals,” Hass played a critical role in Cornell opening a Department of Education in the Graduate School, according to Dyckman.

Prof. Harold Bierman, finance, management, who often co-taught finance courses with Hass, said that Hass was “a person of action” who friends could always rely on.

Recalling an incident when a mutual friend of Hass and Bierman was injured in a car accident, Bierman said, “I called [Hass]. It was just a reflex — when you had a problem, you would just call [Hass].”

In the classroom, Hass was a meticulous teacher, Bierman said. Hass’ preparation for his classes testified to his passion for teaching, Bierman added.

“He was always logical — always up to date with the current financial theories [and] advancing the understanding of common knowledge,” Bierman said. “[Hass would] be prepared and go to class, and know a lot more than the notes he had written.”

Hass was also a brilliant academic, Bierman said.

“He wrote only a few journal articles, but what he wrote was outstandingly good,” said Bierman, who co-authored one of the first books on managerial finance with Hass.

Prof. Hyunseob Kim, finance, remembered Hass as a man who was always happy and encouraging of new professors at the University.

“I’m a new professor here, and when I arrived, [Hass] would tell me all about local events in the area,” Kim said.

Dyckman and Bierman also recalled memories of spending time with Hass outside of work.

“Our families took trips together, and no matter what difficulties arose in those trips, he always had a positive outlook,” Dyckman said. “He never got downhearted and always looked for a solution. … He was always upbeat.”

Bierman also described Hass as someone who was perpetually late, but always reliable.

“One of the humorous things about Jerry is that he was someone who only got there at the very last minute,” Bierman said. “He was an hour late for his birthday party. He always got there, but he was always a last-minute guy.”

Hass’ colleagues said that they will miss Hass and his upbeat presence..

“It’s hard for me to enter the building where we both worked and not see him there. He was just a wonderful person and a delight to have around,” Bierman said.

Kim echoed Bierman’s sentiments, saying, “I feel like I still hear his voice right across the office.”

Original Author: Kevin Milian