Dr. Gene S. Booker
Gene S. Booker, former Western Michigan University professor of management, died Aug. 15. He was 81.
Booker, of Fairhope, Ala., joined WMU in 1960 and retired after almost three decades at the University in 1990. In the 1980s, he chaired the Michigan Investment Advisory Committee, which oversees the state’s pension portfolio.
Booker was hired as an assistant professor by the Department of Management in the College of Business at WMU in September 1960. He had previously taught two years as an assistant professor at Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania.
He received his B.S. from Ball State Teachers College in 1952, and was a football coach at Marshall High School (MI) for one year before entering Indiana University where he earned his M.A. in 1955, and his Ph.D. in 1959.
He was promoted to Associate Professor of Management in 1962, and to full professor in 1965. He was awarded the Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence in 1972. He served as chair of the Department of Management in 1972-73. He retired in June 1990 as emeriti professor of management. He published numerous articles in professional journals during his 37 at WMU.
Booker served as a member of the board of directors of numerous profit and non-profit organizations, such as Michigan National Bank, Armada Corporation, Kalamazoo County Humane Society, Homer Brundage Foundation, WMU Foundation, and Nazareth College. He was also a management consultant for various organizations.
His most well-known service was as a member of the State of Michigan Investment Advisory Committee for state pension funds beginning in the mid-1970s. He was chair of the committee during the “Chrysler loan controversy” in 1980 when the committee denied the request to loan pension funds to Chrysler. He served on that committee for several more years, and was also appointed to serve on the South African Investment Divestiture by the Michigan Dept. of Treasury.
His wife, Susan Booker, resides in Fairhope, Alabama.