By Nathaniel Luce
An expert on new product development and strategic planning, Gary Scudder died on June 13 in Nashville at the age of 65. Scudder was a long-time professor at the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management.
Scudder came to Owen in 1990 from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. Over the course of his career, he helped corporations and students build new products and technologies more strategically and quickly. Scudder consulted with multinational corporations like United Airlines, 3M, Motorola, RR Donnelley, and Bridgestone. At school, he taught the core MBA business strategy course, along with classes in operations strategy, technology management, and manufacturing strategy. Scudder also taught courses in the Executive MBA program and Executive Education.
Scudder’s research earned him several accolades, including two of the most prestigious awards from the Production and Operations Management Society — the Wick Skinner Award and the Stan Hardy award. He was honored by Owen for his work in the classroom with the Dean’s Teaching Award and the James E. Webb Teaching Award.
Scudder dedicated a significant amount of time and energy to service, at Vanderbilt and in his community. In addition to participation and chairing dozens of committees at Owen and Vanderbilt, he sat on the church and school boards of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville.
“Gary loved people and always had an open office door,” said Dean M. Eric Johnson. “Generations of students found him to be a ready ear, interested in their careers and life. Young faculty, including myself 25 years ago, found Gary to be a patient mentor.
“He always wanted to hear updates about Owen colleagues and alumni. With a cell phone never out of reach, he constantly dashed short messages to congratulate and encourage those in his life. We will miss those messages.”
Gary Scudder is survived by his wife, Marti; his daughter Sarah Morrison and her husband Chris, and their three children, Haynes, Ellie Grace and Samuel; his son, David and his wife Hannah Scudder and their daughter, Margaret Rose. Chris and Sarah graduated from Vanderbilt in 2003. David is a 3rd year medical student at VUMC.
The memorial service for Gary Scudder will be held on Saturday at 11:00 am at Christ Presbyterian Church, 2323 Old Hickory Blvd. There will also be a visitation Friday evening from 4:30-7:30 at the church. Memorial contributions can be made to Missions Development International, 5034-D Thoroughbred Lane, Brentwood, TN 37027.