Walter A. Henry
Associate Professor of Management, Emeritus
Walt Henry was a builder. This was apparent in his first career as an aerospace engineer with Honeywell, where he helped design the NASA Space Simulation Station. His building continued at UCR, where he was pivotal in developing the marketing field in the MBA and undergraduate Business Administration programs, and where, as interim dean, he led the rebuilding of the MBA program and guided the construction and move into AGSM’s new facilities in Anderson Hall. He was instrumental in founding the student chapter of the American Marketing Association and led them to national recognition in several General Motors marketing competitions. Much of what is good and successful in AGSM today is due to Walt Henry’s unceasing devotion to the school and its students.
Walt was born in Leige, Belgium, on October 27, 1935, and came to America with his parents in 1936. He earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri in 1958. He revised his own career and entered graduate school, earning his master’s degree and then his Ph.D. in business administration and marketing from Claremont Graduate School in 1972. He joined what was then the Graduate School of Administration at UCR in 1972, soon after its founding. He served as associate dean for five years before becoming interim dean in 1992. He retired in 1994, but continued to teach for several years.
His research covered aspects of consumer behavior. He studied the effects of labeling and information overload on consumers’ decisions, and examined television advertising as a component of successful product marketing. He served on the editorial board of major journals. With one of his former students he founded and guided MUSE Marketing Research, which conducted much useful research for firms in the region and for UCR.
Walt was a dedicated teacher who truly enjoyed teaching and working with students. Students recognized this. During his tenure at UCR, he was chosen several times as AGSM’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Professor Henry spent countless hours developing courses, supervising masters’ theses, and assisting marketing interns with their projects. Walt’s office door was always open. Students went to see him regularly to discuss academic projects or to get tips on jobs and the job market. Many of the school’s graduates have fond memories of and great loyalty to the school and campus because of their experiences with Walt.
In addition to being a great teacher, Walt was also a great colleague who served as a friend and mentor to many of AGSM’s faculty and staff. He was available to his colleagues and often provided them with sage advice.
Walt and his wife Betty were married in 1956 and had three children (Janet, David, and Louis), four grandchildren and one great grandchild. He was a devoted father, grandfather, and companion to his children and grandchildren. He was with his grandchildren when he suffered his fatal stroke and passed away on October 8, 2001.
AGSM and UCR will continue to benefit from Walt Henry’s hard work and good will for many years to come. He leaves a legacy of scholarship, collegiality, and dedication that will be sorely missed by the University as well as by his colleagues, friends and students.