OBITUARY

Robert W. Blanning

July 12, 1936June 25, 2013
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BLANNING, Robert Wendell – Professor of Management, emeritus of Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, passed away on the 25th of June 2013 at the age of 76. Robert was born on the 12th of July 1936, Robert to the late Wendell Yeager Blanning and Christine Anne Hoffman Blanning.  He is survived by his brother, Bruce Blanning and his wife Sandy, and their children, Natalie, Brian, Ryan, and Cherish. After serving as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army early in his young adult life, Robert became most known and renowned among his circles of influence with his educational accomplishments and business acumen. He graduated with a B.S. in Physics from Pennsylvania State University in 1958, earned a M.S. in Operations Research from the Case Institute of Technology in 1964, and matriculated with a Ph.D. in Operations Research from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971. From there, Blanning’s global experience combined the worlds of academia and business. He came to the Owen Graduate School of Management in 1980 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His previous positions included the College of Business and Public Administration and Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the National University of Singapore. His overseas professional and developmental business efforts in Singapore and Hong Kong were of utmost importance to him. Before his academic roles, Blanning served as an operations research analyst for the Mobil Oil Corporation and as a nuclear engineer at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory of the General Electric Company. Blanning’s research focused on decision support systems, information systems research and artificial intelligence.  He had articles featured in such prominent publications such as Management Science, Information Systems Research, the Columbia Journal of World Business, the International Journal of Management, Futures and Long Range Planning. Until recent years, he served on the Board of Editors of the Journal of Management Information Systems. A Graveside service held in his honor will commence at one-thirty in the afternoon on Friday, the 28th of June 2013 at Woodlawn Memorial Park in Nashville, TN. The family cordially invites friends to gather with them for a time of remembrance and visitation at Woodlawn-Roesch-Patton Funeral Home from six o’clock until eight o’clock this evening.

Services

  • Visitation Thursday, June 27, 2013
  • Graveside Service Friday, June 28, 2013
REMEMBERING

Robert W. Blanning

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Gretchen Geagan

July 1, 2013

Knowing Dr. Blanning for these past 2 1/2 years, the care management team at Life-Links enjoyed his flexibility, sense of humor and humility. He was a kind person we were honored to know. Dr. B, we hope you are driving a Lamborghini through the streets of Hong Kong drinking a cappuccino!

Timothy Devinney

June 27, 2013

Bob was a great colleague and one of the first people I met when joining Vanderbilt as an Asst Professor. Always great advice with a bit of cynicism. He was always around to help and was really the friend of the dispossessed younger faculty. I travelled a bit with Bob. I took him on his first trip to China from HK and also to Vietnam (where his Hawaiian shirts seemed like a bullseye to the hawkers). I also took him to Estonia when it first opened (where we had to walk from the airport since there were no taxis!). He will be missed.

Timothy Devinney

June 27, 2013

Bob was one of the first people I met when moving to Vanderbilt as an Assistant Professor. Kind and generous, fun and hard working. Always gave good advice. Bob loved to travel and I took him on his first trip to China and also to Vietnam (where I took him to the first Miss Vietnam pageant -- if you can imaging that). He will be missed as he was a great friend.

Timothy Devinney (Sydney & Berlin)

Fred Talbott

June 26, 2013

Bob was my best friend and colleague at Owen, a wonderful, hilarious, creative, joyous, brilliant, caring, and most positive soul. One of his greatest joys was seeing students both succeed and appreciate the process and excitement of learning. In 1998 and 1999 Bob and I conducted research that showed most Americans planned to withdraw most or all of their funds from banks and investment houses due to the Y2K scare, which could lead to an economic collapse. Our response was to teach more than 800 banks to turn the situation into a major marketing success—and it worked! That was Bob, always seeing problems as challenges that create opportunities. He was and in my heart is one of the finest individuals I have known, bringing honor and goodness and truth and trust and happiness to all he met. He defines the very best qualities of his chosen role of Professor. He was my buddy, my colleague, my mentor, and, most important, my friend. All who of us who knew him will celebrate his life forever.

June 26, 2013

Bob was a professor Emeritus at the Owen School of Management, Vanderbilt University. He had a long an illustrious academic career. He was dedicated to his students, his colleagues and the institution. He came to the Owen School in 1980 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His previous positions included the College of Business and Public Administration and Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the National University of Singapore. Before his academic roles, Bob served as an operations research analyst for the Mobil Oil Corporation and as a nuclear engineer at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory of the General Electric Company. He became an Emeritus Professor in 2011.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

BLANNING, Robert Wendell – Professor of Management, emeritus of Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, passed away on the 25th of June 2013 at the age of 76. Robert was born on the 12th of July 1936, Robert to the late Wendell Yeager Blanning and Christine Anne Hoffman Blanning. He is survived by his brother, Bruce Blanning and his wife Sandy, and their children, Natalie, Brian, Ryan, and Cherish. After serving as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army early in his young adult life, Robert became most known and renowned among his circles of influence and beyond with his educational accomplishments and business acumen. He graduated with a B.S. in Physics from Pennsylvania State University in 1958, earned a M.S. in Operations Research from the Case Institute of Technology in 1964, and matriculated with a Ph.D. in Operations Research from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971. From there, Blanning’s global experience combined the worlds of academia and business. He came to the Owen Graduate School of Management in 1980 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His previous positions included the College of Business and Public Administration and Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the National University of Singapore. His overseas professional and developmental business efforts in Singapore and Hong Kong were of utmost importance to him. Before his academic roles, Blanning served as an operations research analyst for the Mobil Oil Corporation and as a nuclear engineer at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory of the General Electric Company. Blanning’s research focused on decision support systems, information systems research and artificial intelligence. He had articles featured in such prominent publications such as Management Science, Information Systems Research, the Columbia Journal of World Business, the International Journal of Management, Futures and Long Range Planning. Until recent years, he served on the Board of Editors of the Journal of Management Information Systems. A Graveside service held in his honor will commence at one-thirty in the afternoon on Friday, the 28th of June 2013 at Woodlawn Memorial Park in Nashville, TN. The family cordially invites friends to gather with them for a time of remembrance and visitation at Woodlawn-Roesch-Patton Funeral Home from six o’clock until eight o’clock this evening. Arrangements by: Woodlawn-Roesch-Patton Funeral Home, 660 Thompson Lane, Nashville, TN 37204. (615)-383-4754. www.woodlawn-roesch-pattonfh.com