Professor Ferdinand F. Mauser

November 22, 1914 - September 9, 1994

  • PROFESSOR OF MARKETING EMERITUS
    AND FORMER CHAIR
    School of Business Administration,
    Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
  • MILITARY SERVICE
    U.S. ARMY, 1942-1946
    Rank-Advanced from Private to Major
    WWII 11th Airborne Division in the South Pacific
    Awards-Two Army Commendation Medals
    Three Battle Stars
  • VISITING PROFESSOR OF MARKETINGGraduate School, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan
    Graduate School, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
    University of Munich, Munich, Germany

Biography

Prof. Mauser was an educator, teacher, scholar, author, and internationalist who circled the globe numerous times. He was a trailblazer and true pioneer in advocating the need for sustainability, especially in regard to business. Sustainability is, as defined by the Brundtland Commission, “meeting the needs of the present while not compromising the ability of the future to meet it’s own needs”. As early as the 1970’s, Prof. Mauser was actively involved in the movement to raise environmental consciousness and awareness. He devoted over 3 decades to teaching, writing and introducing a broad audience to the new ideas of “biodegradability” and living in “harmony with nature”, what we refer to today as environmental sustainability.

It was common for Prof. Mauser to plan scavenger hunts for his students. The list of objects to search for could include a certain flower or rock in the shape of “something”. Afterwards, everyone would meet at his cottage in Canada to pick a winner, but more importantly, to study and share their individual finds. The ensuing discussion provided Prof. Mauser’s students a space to socialize and enjoy nature with a touch of healthy competition. The true lesson, however, was in observing, interacting with, and admiring our natural world.

Prof. Mauser taught and wrote extensively about ways to protect our environment. A required text for one of his 1970 business courses was A Sand County Almanac, a 1949 book of essays by ecologist Aldo Leopold. In 1980, while having lunch at Tokyo’s Foreign Correspondents Club, a group of professional photographers selected Professor Mauser as the most photogenic person present. The photographers wanted to interview a “respectable-looking occidental older gentleman with impeccable professional credentials to provide a role model for young readership” of Japan’s Playboy magazine. This chance interaction resulted in a full page photo and interview in Playboy. The public exposure led to many more magazine and TV ads promoting shoes, cameras, cars, clothing, walking canes, travel and food. He was also featured in documentaries and TV commercials.

Books & Publications

Prof. Mauser authored and coauthored numerous books that were used by universities in the US and Japan for marketing and business classes. His commentaries have appeared in print hundreds of times in magazines such as Harvard Business Review and The Japan Times.

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Awards

During Prof. Mauser’s career he received professional awards including a Fulbright Fellowship, Marketing Educator of the Year, and Best of the Year Award for Televison

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