Passing of Professor Emeritus Lee Preston
Dear Smith School Community,
I am saddened to report that Professor Emeritus Lee Preston
passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011. Lee had advanced prostate cancer.
After graduating from High School in Denton Texas, Lee earned a competitive
scholarship to Vanderbilt University, where he majored in economics. He was then
admitted to the PhD program in economics at Harvard. Halfway through the program
he entered the U.S. Army and served two years in Germany. This foreign posting
started Lee's lifelong interest in international travel. Later, after completing
his PhD, he became a business professor at University of California, Berkeley.
There he developed his interest in corporate governance. His early writings were
instrumental in creating the field of Corporate Social Responsibility for which
he received several honors. His classic book “Private Management and Public
Policy,” written in 1975, is soon to be republished by Stanford University
Press. Lee later accepted a chaired position as director of a research Institute
at the University of Buffalo. He moved to the University of Maryland in 1980 and
served at the Smith School until his retirement in 1998. During his
distinguished career he was the author or co-author of approximately 200
publications and edited ten volumes of “Research in Corporate Social
Performance.” Lee was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Management in 1982,
named a Distinguished Scholar Teacher at Maryland in 1994, and received the
University’s Distinguished International Service Award in 1996.
Lee's many service contributions at Maryland include directing
the PhD program and creating and directing the Center for International Business
Education and Research (CIBER). While at Maryland he created a joint MBA program
with the University of Lodz in Poland and helped manage it for many years. He
received significant honors from the government of Poland for this work,
including a degree of Doctor Honoris Causa. Externally, among his many
appointments, Lee served the Kennedy Administration in the Office of The Council
of Economic Advisors, and spent a semester advising the Ministry of Commerce of
the Government of China on corporate governance issues. After retirement, Lee
had several positions as visiting scholar at various European universities, and
served three years as Ombudsman for faculty and staff on the Maryland campus.
Lee leaves his wife, Pat, one son, two daughters and several
grandchildren. A memorial service for Lee will be held on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 2
p.m. at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 4512 College Ave., College Park. There
will be a reception at the church following the service.