1935 – 2023
Those who knew Penn State Smeal alum and faculty member John Coyle best, bypass his innovative, pioneering nature when they first share memories of him.
Instead, his closest friends and confidants talk about how a smiling Coyle inevitably greeted them.
“Like my daughter said, ‘what I’m going to miss is his bear hugs,’” says Bob Novack, an associate professor of supply chain management, who called Coyle a friend and a mentor. “When he would meet you, he would give you the biggest hug. He was just that type of individual — very caring, very personable.”
Coyle joined the College of Business faculty in 1961 and it wasn’t long before his influence was felt. He was instrumental in the development of the business logistics and transportation programs at Penn State. And, he proudly noted in his Smeal bio that he “was the first person to teach a course at Penn State under the label ‘Business Logistics.’”
To help spread the word about the burgeoning discipline, Coyle pioneered the use of technology in education, employing VHS technology and remote broadcasting to distribute his classes remotely long before the internet came into being.
Business logistics evolved into supply chain management and later supply chain and information systems, and Coyle left his fingerprints on those disciplines, too. He was the founding executive director of the Center for Supply Chain Research from 1989 – 2000 and director of corporate relations for CSCR from 2000 – 2010.
Coyle served the broader college community as assistant dean and associate dean from 1982 through 1989. He remained Professor Emeritus of Business Administration and continued to publish thought-provoking research until his passing in January.
In addition to his impact on Smeal, Coyle served as chair of the University Faculty Senate from 1976-77 and he was Penn State’s longest serving faculty athletic representative to the NCAA (1970-90) and Big Ten Conference (1990-2000).
Coyle’s career was decorated with accolades, including 12 college and university awards for outstanding teaching and advising; the Distinguished Lion Paw Award for outstanding service to the University; and the Council of Logistics Management’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award.
John M. “Jack” Stevens
1940 – 2023
Before he started his distinguished career in academia, Jack Stevens served for eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps. That duty included a tour in Vietnam as a radio intercept officer who flew 312 missions in an F-4 Phantom II. He was then selected to work at Headquarters Marine Corps at the Pentagon, retiring with the rank of captain.
Stevens then embarked on a 33-year career at Penn State. He was a trusted colleague who served Smeal as a professor of management and organization, associate dean for undergraduate programs, and director of outreach.
His myriad contributions led to the success of Smeal students and the culture of honor and integrity for which Smeal has been widely respected.
“Jack’s commitment to personal and academic integrity triggered early momentum toward the development of the Smeal Honor Code,” said Charles Whiteman, John and Karen Arnold Dean of Smeal. “It is fitting that Smeal’s prestigious senior academic integrity award bears the name of Jack and his wife, Anne.”
Stevens was a prolific researcher whose body of work was recognized in 1997 by the Academy of Management Journal as one of the 10 most cited authors in the past 40 years of the journal.
Smeal faculty members who worked alongside him describe Stevens as a productive researcher who possessed an enviable knack for sharing stories and aligning theory with practicality, skills that no doubt enriched the academic experience of countless Smeal students during his tenure.