Long-time Professor Passes on Sylvester Helped Students In and Out of Classroom
On Wednesday, Feb. 5, longtime professor and associate dean of the Eberhardt School of Business Ray Sylvester passed away after a brief illness, the University of the Pacific announced.
Sylvester, a professor of marketing for more than 40 years, was a fixture at the school and a mentor to both students and faculty alike.
“This is a terrible loss for the Pacific family. For more than 40 years, Ray excelled as a teacher, scholar and administrator. At the time of his death, he was national president-elect of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. He was also an ardent supporter of the United Way. Ray will be very deeply missed by all of us. Our thoughts and prayers are with his partner, Peggy Rosson, and his family,” Pacific President Pamela A. Eibeck relayed in a message sent out to the university community soon after Sylvester’s death.
Sylvester earned his bachelor’s degree from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania in 1962 before he received his MBA in 1963 from the University of Michigan, which is where he earned his Ph.D. in 1972. The same year, he arrived in Stockton to begin his lengthy tenure at Pacific.
For more than 40 years, Sylvester educated Pacific students on the finer points of marketing research and consumer behavior while focusing his research on marketing in the field of health care and the public sector.
According to his biography on the university website, Sylvester’s most recent consulting work had featured marketing research for a bank, human services agency and a local hospital in the areas of “consumer awareness and utilization of marketing strategies.” Ever focused on the world of health care, Sylvester recently shifted gears to research consumer criteria for hospital selection. Sylvester also had an interest in the way consumers profile and perceive financial institutions, according to the university.
Helping students outside of the classroom was a large priority throughout Sylvester’s life. Not only did Sylvester make time for many students’ needs for extra help outside of class, but he attended every commencement ceremony since he joined Pacific’s faculty in 1972, according to the Stockton Record.
“Many of those graduates credit Ray and those ardent efforts with helping them perform well and completing their degrees here,” Lewis Gale, dean of the Eberhardt School of Business, proclaimed to the Stockton Record.
In addition, Sylvester made significant contributions to Phi Kappa Phi, which, according to their official website, is the nation’s oldest, largest and most selective collegiate honor society. An active board member since 2007, Sylvester was elected as the society president-elect in 2012. Sylvester was set to step down after his two-year term would have expired in the summer of this year.
According to the university, details for a campus memorial ceremony will be released in the near future. Sylvester’s family announced that they will suggest a designation soon for anyone who wishes to make a donation or give a gift in his memory. They ask that no flowers be sent at this time.