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William Day: a curious mind, lifelong learner

Memorial services planned Thursday for former business dean

A keen intellect and ever-curious mind are qualities that William “Bill” A. Day will be remembered for, according to College of Business Dean Hugh D. Sherman.

Day, 79, of Athens, former dean of Ohio University's College of Business, died unexpectedly Sunday at Columbus' Riverside Methodist Hospital.

Memorial services will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 3, at First United Methodist Church, in Athens, with Rev. Mary Jo Yeakel officiating. Arrangements are with Jagers & Sons Funeral Home in Athens.
"William Day was a model academic – a serious scholar, a leader in innovative learning, a gifted teacher, and a mentor to students, faculty and staff," reflected Sherman. "He gave so much back to this university in every way – he will be missed and not forgotten."

Day spent more than 30 years at Ohio University's College of Business, serving as college dean from 1987-1993. He also served as associate dean, chair of the Department of Management, and director of the department's honors tutorial program, among his many roles with the College of Business.

Day was a forward thinker who was ahead of his time, promoting innovative curriculum, focusing on problem-based learning, and developing in students a holistic view of business problems. Along with colleague John Stinson, Day created the problem-based MBA program and then translated what was learned from that program into the undergraduate cluster experience.

Innately curious, Day was interested in all subjects and never stopped learning. Though he fully retired in 2001, Day returned to campus weekly in recent years for Portuguese language lessons, so that he could continue to teach the Brazilian executive seminars, held through the College of Business, in their native language.

Day earned his master's and doctoral degrees from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. He was awarded a Baker Scholar in the MBA Program and a Ford Foundation Fellowship in the DBA Program. He also holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago in liberal arts.
In addition to his service at Ohio University, he has worked at IBM and acted as a consultant for twenty-five years with companies such as Mead and State Farm Insurance.

Born March 18, 1931, in Cleveland, Day was the son of Charles and Mina Day. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Mary; and sons John C. Day (Ruth) of Athens, Eric W. Day (Mindy) of Roanoke, Virginia, daughter Lisa M. Williams (Robert) of Athens; grandchildren Elizabeth, Sam and Jonathan Day and Samantha and Zack Williams.

A note of condolence may be sent to the family or sign the online register book at www.jagersfuneralhome.com

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the William Day Scholarship, College of Business, Ohio University, c/o O.U. Foundation, P.O. Box 869, Athens, Ohio 45701.