WPI Management Head is New Stoddard Professor

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, Mass. -- McRae C. Banks of Holden, Mass., professor and head of the Management Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, is WPI's newest recipient of the Harry G. Stoddard Endowed Professorship in Management. The five-year appointment, which includes a stipend, is one of the highest honors members of the WPI professorate can attain.

Banks, who was appointed Management Department head on Aug. 14, earned a B.A. and a Ph.D. at Virginia Tech and an M.A. at Northwestern University. He previously held academic appointments at Mississippi State University (1987-1995) and Radford University (1982-1987). In addition to owning his own firm, he held management and executive positions in manufacturing and retail organizations and founded and managed two university centers one for small business consulting and one for training and development. He has written more than 40 papers and articles and is currently writing books on entrepreneurship and on introductory management. He has been a consultant and trainer for many companies in a wide variety of industries.

Most recently, Banks served as director of the Agribusiness Institute, a joint venture between the colleges of Business and Agriculture at Mississippi State. He is director of placement services for the Academy of Management and is program chair for the 1996 annual meeting of the Entrepreneurship Division. He is past president of the Society for the Advancement of Management and edits the society's publication Focus on Management.

The Harry C. Stoddard Endowed Professorship in Management honors the memory of one of Worcester's leading industrialists of the 20th century. Stoddard, son of a Baptist minister, was born in 1873 in Athol, Mass., and moved to Worcester with his family in 1884. He began his career as an office boy in the Washburn & Moen Co. At the age of 31 he left Worcester to become president of the Trenton, N.J., Iron Works the youngest president of a company of that size in the nation.

Stoddard returned to Worcester seven years later as vice president and general sales manager at Wyman-Gordon Co. He later became treasurer and general manager of the company and was elected president in 1931 and board chairman in 1955. In 1925, Stoddard and George F. Booth purchased the Worcester Telegram and The Evening Gazette and served a president and later chairman of the board and honorary chairman. In 1989, the newspapers were sold to the San Francisco Chronicle. WPI awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1941.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute is an independent, technological university founded in 1865.