Family, friends, and students gather to acknowledge the passing of emeritus professor Robert Stern and to commemorate his distinguished career. June, 2015.
>> Let us begin, please. I know a great many of you. But, I'm delighted to see some faces that I at least think I don't know, as I had hoped that we would have a nice turn out today for remembering Bob Stern who, boy have I learned in the last few weeks how many people loved Bob and respected Bob and valued, I just, and are indebted to Bob for many of the things that he did for other people. So, thank you all for coming. I'm glad to have you here. Now, we scheduled this event for today precisely because Everett and Caroline Stern, Bob's kids, not really kids anymore, were going to be in town, coincidently, for, I believe, a wedding. Right?
>> That's me, thank you.
>> Oh well, you're the newlyweds?
>> [Inaudible] yeah.
>> Oh, wonderful. Okay. So, because of that, they were going to be in town and putting it on today meant that they could both attend. Actually Caroline had to change her flight back in order to do it today because Everett couldn't do it yesterday. Then, as it turns out, unfortunately, Everett hasn't been able to attend. He had a medical issue that kept him from flying. So, he's not with us today even though that had been the plan. And, I don't know whether he's watching. We're streaming this even live. And, I'm hoping that he is watching. And, if so, hi Everett wherever you are.
>> Hi Ev.
>> And, of course, you're here so you don't need to do that. But, you may want to relive the experience. We will, we are recording it and we'll be posting it on the Ford School website where you can go look at it over and over again if you want. Because of that, various people are going to be speaking. When you do speak, I'm going to need you to come up here and stand more or less where I am because this is the microphone that's capturing this all for both the streaming and for the recording of it. Okay. So, keep that in mind. Now, let me tell you what we plan to do here. We have four videos, short videos from various people who want, are remembering Bob. Three of them from other countries, people who couldn't make it to come in person and therefore recorded videos that the sent. One of them actually arrived from India within the last hour from Rojes [assumed spelling] for those who know him and his family. So, we'll be seeing those things. There are several of you that, who told me at some point that you would speak. And, I'll be calling on you to do that. I hope you remember that you said you were going to do that. There will also be a few cases of reading things that people wrote and sent in, I think maybe three of those things. So, we'll go through all of those things. And then, when we're done, we'll ask anybody else who's here and would like to stand up and say anything to do so. And, that will be it. And then, we have ordered some very light refreshments that, I don't know if they're out there yet, but they will be out in, what we call, the great hall right outside this room. And so, when we're done in here, you can stand around and drink and eat and talk to each other. And then, finally, I'm inviting any or all of you to join us for dinner at the Gourmet Garden Chinese Restaurant. This was actually, although he may not see it that way, this was Ev's idea. When we talked about what we might do he says well we could get together at a Chinese restaurant because Bob always liked Chinese. In fact, he always liked, in particular, one Chinese restaurant. Why aren't we going there? Because it went out of business unfortunately, the Middle Kingdom. So, we're going to the Gourmet Garden, which I like. I have no idea whether Bob would like it. But, that's the idea. So, anybody who wants to join us there afterwards. Please do. It is Dutch treat, I don't know if the younger people know what that means, but, many of us do. In other words, you're paying your own way. I'm not buying your dinner. But, I would be more than happy to sit with you and talk with you if you choose to come, which, I hope many of you will. Yeah, okay. We do have enough things to do here that, and I better set an example here, we need to keep our remarks relatively brief or we're going to go on all night. So, please keep it down to just, you know, three minutes or something like that if you can. Now, it would be appropriate, presumably, for me to start with some of my recollections. Did I say this? I'm Allan Deardorff. If I didn't mention that, I should. And, Bob and I worked together for most of my career and a pretty fair portion of his career. And that's, in some sense the reason I'm doing this. But, frankly, it's more than just that we worked together. There is no person in the world, has been no person in the world more important to my professional life than Bob Stern. He hired me. I kind of believe, against the will of some of his colleagues. But, some of them are here and could perhaps comment on that. But, that's not what we're here about. But, anyway, he hired me. He mentored me, took care of me kind of when I was an assistant professor. In fact, the very first thing he did was when he learned what the associate chair of economics at the time had assigned me to teach, he says no that won't do. That's too much. And, he went to John Cross and said no absolutely he's not going to teach both 401 and 402. Give him two sections of something 402 I think which is why I became a macroeconomist. So, he was looking out for me from the very beginning. He would read my work, give me feedback on it, never told me what to do at all. And never, in my recollections, suggested that we worked together or coauthor things until after I was promoted. Another thing, which I'm pretty sure wouldn't have happened without his role. But, again, nobody will tell me what was said in that meaning. So, he was very much responsible for all of that. And then, after I was promoted, he and I started, again at his initiative, to work together at this that and the other thing. And, ended up building what, a model, the Michigan Model which we use for all sorts of purposes and got to travel around the world often together, very early on. He and I would fly together. And, I have, would insist on the smoking section because I smoked. He didn't. On the other hand he was married to Lucetta who did. I'm just relieved that, although, that he lived a long, oh Jucepi [assumed spelling], welcome. I'm sorry. Didn't expect you. Jucepi comes to us all the way from Italy just for this event. Right? Well, sort of. Anyway, as far as I know the second hand smoke from and from Lucetta were not harmful to Bob but one could imagine that they might have been. So then, we worked together and published together for, as I say, all of my career until, what, it was just five years ago. Bob had long since retired formally from the Economics Department and from the Ford School. But, he continued to teach in the Ford School. Most of you probably know this. Very successful pair of seminars that he would do. Students were very disappointed when he didn't return from California. He went out to California just to escape the ice, I think and to be close to his daughter, I'm sure, and his grandson. Right? Yeah. But, ended up staying out there. It's a mystery to those of us back here why he would prefer California, but he did. And so, but then he managed to get set up so that he could teach those same seminars at the Policy School of Berkley which he did, I believe, until last fall. Right? So, man, this is what an energetic go get him guy. I mean, you saw him running across campus constantly. Right? Actually no. Physically he was, and increasingly so in his later years, unable to move around a great deal. He needed help and he got a lot of help from people who were here for which we can all be thankful. And, he managed, as you'll be hearing later on, to continue to travel even though it must have been extremely difficult for him for various purposes. So, there's nobody in the world that, especially outside of my immediate family, that I would want to honor more than Bob Stern. And so, that's why, from my point of view, that's why we're doing this. Let me turn then to things that we have scheduled here. And, hello. Why does it look like that? Can you get it to the presentation? Okay. We're, by the way this whole event could never have happened, of course it remains to be seen how well it's going to happen, without the help of Cliff here and Chris who may be back there and Aaron did some stuff and others, Laura's group. We've had a lot of help from the Ford School. Okay. Here we go, the Gathering. And, our first video is from Phillip Abraham. As you see he got his PHD in 87 and was a Stern student. All right. Oh, of course, I have to hit that button. There we go.
>> Hello I'm Phillip Abraham and I'm joining from a rainy day in Belgium to remember Bob Stern who has meant a lot for me and my family. As a matter of fact, Bob studied together with my Father at Columbia. So, we were family friends even before I came to get my PHD at the University of Michigan. My first meeting with Bob was actually when I was 13 years old when I was invited to come to his place. And, he took me to Cape Cod. And, one thing I do remember was that he invited me also to a Red Sox baseball game which, for me, as a European Soccer fanatic, was the first experience with another sport in the U.S. My fondest memories however were lead to the years I spent together with my wife Hilda as a PHD student in Ann Arbor, we agreed that those days were some of the best that we've had in our life. And, Bob was a full part of making this possible for us. One of the things that he had helped us to do was logistical support. A matter of fact, from Lucetta and Bob we got some very yellow, yellow plates and other useful things that we could not afford as graduate students. And, social support, also very important. And Lucetta and Bob invited us several times to their home. And that was always very nice, very good memories about this. Professional support for sure. Bob and Alan hired me as a research assistant in my second year of PHD school to work on this famous Michigan Model like so many of the former PHD students. Bob helped me in all possible ways. He really made it possible for me to do my PHD. He corrected me and he cut me back in fact when things were not going that well. And, he also, and that I liked a lot about, he was also very clean on what he expected from PHD students and from myself. It was not the easy way. You had to perform. And this is also what I always try to convey into my own PHD students. And finally, what he did in a very explicit and nice way was making clear what my strengths were, that's nice, but also what my weaknesses were. And that helped me a lot during my professional career. Well, when I got back from Ann Arbor and returned to my country Belgium where I became professor at the University Of Leuven, he, we always kept in touch. I visited him several times in Ann Arbor, he came several times to Leuven to give seminars and to meet the family. And, those were always very nice moments. So I, when I hear that he had deceased, well, and of course, it did something to me and not only to me but my whole family and my father was also in hospital at this moment, wanted to express his deepest sympathy to Carline and Everett and the whole family and my brother who spent also several years doing his PHD in an art but not in economics, and sends his regards and my wife Hilda also wanted to mention that Bob is sentimental of here as well. So, I hope that this remembrance service goes on and that we all can have very fond memories of what Bob achieved and what a very nice person he was. Thank you very much.
>> Guess what? You're up Dave. Dave Richardson knows Mel Lavinski [assumed spelling] I didn't know that.
>> We were office mates [inaudible].
>> Of course you were, I keep forgetting that he had this dark period in his life when he was [inaudible].
>> That would be the definition of economics.
>> Okay. Dave is going to share his memories. I'll let you introduce yourself and explain your.
>> I'm Dave Richardson. I'm retired now. And, I was a Michigan graduate student in the late 1960s. Bob came to Michigan in the early 1960s. So, I was one of his group from the late 1960s. During that time, I coauthored and I authored many things with Bob and for Bob. But, I got a job at the University of Wisconsin and I had an equally magical mentor in Robert Baldwin. And, those of who knew both Bobs called them, often, the two Bobs. And, later on, I'll give you Bob Baldwin's opinion of Bob Stern which was warm and wonderful. Bob Stern and I had a serious falling out, however, in the 1990s. Caroline probably knows that there was an iron resistance part of Bob that, in professional circles, was usually very well taken. And, in our case, it was unresolved. But, when I retired institutionally at the end of 2012, after a period of pretty much silence between Bob and me for 15 years, Bob flew from Berkley to Washington with his health aide, paid for both as far as I know, and attended the reception the retirement reception party that we had there and gave wonderful and warm remarks about me. Without his saying so, that blew me away because he was offering to me a kind of peace offering let's make up again by doing so dramatic a thing for me. So, I'm deeply appreciative and I'm deeply sorry, Caroline, for you. And, my remarks today are, in a sense, partly posthumous reciprocity for what Bob did for me, not just in the early days that I'll tell you about a little bit more, but, in that final retirement celebration. What I'll tell you about early in my career was a wise intervention by Bob. Bob had many wise interventions with many of us. And, the one with me, I think, illustrates some of his professional strengths that I wish more of us had these days. Now, if Bob were here, he might say it was a cunning intervention on his part, not just a wise one. I don't know for sure. But, I bet it was. But, it illustrates Bob, simultaneously in his two persona. Bob had one persona that you could call friendly counselor, I think Lucetta probably helped him with the friendly counselor persona. And, his other persona was he was a Delphic professional seer. More than even Bob Baldwin, my colleague at Wisconsin, Bob Stern, I think, had a sense of judgement about what was important and coming to be important in the profession that he never quite could articulate except when there was a decision to be made regarding a paper or a conference or one of his students. And, he also, in that Delphic professional strength that he had could identify who could do the important work that needed to be done. Let me tell you, therefore, the early story in which I was the beneficiary of him making a judgment over the important work to be done and who could do it. Here's the old story from the late 1960s when I almost dropped out of graduate school for financial reasons. And, Bob Stern saved me, literally. Michigan Department of the late 1960s, as several of you in the audience know, was tough. It was young. And, it was on the make. And, grad students felt more than the usual grad student pressures in the late 1960s here at Michigan. I almost failed out of Saul Hyman's first year micro class. D- Saul you would not remember that. That's the barest of passes. And, at that time, we wrote comprehensive exams at the end of first year in theory and at the end in the two fields, two fields not just one field, two fields that we represented. So, courses and comps, courses and comps, courses and comps in a young department on the make. It was pretty brutal. Pressures were so intense that 3 of us out of a cohort of about 25 had unexpected babies.
[ Laughter ]
Nine months after the second year set of comps. We were serious. And, I know in two of the three cases, my own included, we were taking all the necessary precautions. We were rational actors, remember. We're graduate student economist. So, how this happened to 3 out of 25, I have no idea. But, my wife's and my plans for financial support during my third and fourth and fifth year of grad school were shattered, completely shattered. My wife is a graduate of the Library School here. She graduated from the Library School and had our baby two weeks later. But, someone had to work to take care of the baby. It had to be her or me. It turned out to be me as it turned out. But, looking at this from the perspective of the second summer after graduate school, I was at one of the lowest points ever in my life. I was discouraged, I was depressed, I thought now I needed to provide for the family and leave graduate school, get a job somehow because this was, remember, the late 60s. We hadn't thought about the idea of house husbands yet. So, I visited Bob Stern early in third year to ask if there was any advice he could give me, any wisdom he could give me, any job leads he could give me outside of academics and graduate school and to share with him how I felt and apologize to him for, in a sense, failing at the task. Mm, mm, mm Bob stern had a good way of musing. He didn't use Mm, but you could tell he was thinking, Mm. And, in his usual serious way and sort of always kind of inquisitive way with eyes not quite open but always twinkling through the eyelids. You know the Bob Stern look, you're going to see it on the videos we have. He said, well I do have a project that maybe you could be funded for if you get permission from the Canada Council that was otherwise supporting it at a pretty low level. Today, we'd call that project the Robustness Analysis or a sensitivity check. That's the modern way of thinking about the project he had for me. And, it had to do with one of the techniques that Bob Stern and Ed Leamer included in their path breaking book called Quantitative International Economics. I thought the project was pedestrian because it involved huge data collections all kinds of running regressions when regressions were run using punch cards and going up to North University Avenue with the punch cards. And, in my arrogant grad student way, I had better things to do, I thought. But, hey, expectant fathers who are penny poor can't be complainers. So, I said yes to this pedestrian project with no theory I said at the time. And, I spent my third year of graduate school solid but more pressure than ever. I was doing Bob's project for our baby's sake, I was perusing my own dissertation on a theory a theory of foreign direct investment. And, I emphasize that to show how stupid I was. And, you'll hear more stupidity to come and learning, reluctantly how to be a father. I think Bob, in his cunning way, knew far better than I what I was cut out for professionally. And, I think Bob kind of welcomed this change in life for me and my wife as an opportunity to set me more on the right path. This massive big data project in the days before there were big data projects actually suited my talents as Bob saw them. He had the skill, I think, of seeing that very well. So, imagine Bob's consternation one year after our conversation. At the beginning of my fourth year, when it begins, by my walking in with a finished final project report. And, I told him I was internally grateful for the family support that he'd offered me for the child support. And now, in my fourth year, I had to get to work on my dissertation so, as to be proud of myself and then he would be proud of me. So, Bob took the project report the beginning of my fourth year, spent two weeks going over it, called me back in and said something like the following. This is really fine work. Masterful. Would you consider using it as your doctoral dissertation? Sure, I thought, blah, I don't want to be known for this. I know I thought that. And, I said, no I don't think so Bob. But, thank you so much. It really was so pedestrian. I really appreciate it. Thanks. Picture Bob flabbergasted. He just offered a dissertation to someone who turned it down. Speechless, Bob was speechless. He just sat there. He was completely perplexed. Never expressed any anger. We parted, I went home. And, my wife, who found Bob Stern to be one of the few gentlemen among male economist that she knew at that time and ever since, my wife said, what did you say? What did you say to Bob? You turned Bob down. What? And the end of the story is that arrogant graduate student reconsidered his arrogance and I accepted Bob's judgment. That was the most important thing. And, I accepted Bob's offer. And, that baby birth project led to three high quality publications and my vaunted exalted theory of foreign direct investment led to much lower quality publications. They both led to publications. And the great moral of that story, as I see it, is that Bob Stern cared deeply, deeply, for his students at the same time as he cared deeply, deeply for important professional creativity. And, to have both of those things in the same man as a graduate student is not just rare but it's miraculous and marvelous. And, to this day, I am eternally thankful for Bob's overruling support and judgment in my own career.
[ Applause ]
>> Next I want to read you something that another student of Bob sent in. This is from Peter DeBaere. He got his PHD in 1998 and he's now an associate professor at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. And, as you'll see, he's been close to Bob in various ways. So, this is what he said. It was mid-January and I received a parcel of books from Bob. And, he's talking about this year. On my last visit we had been talking about how I might edit the book on the economics of water. And, Bob sent me a few samples of the many books he had edited. He probably had been cleaning out his shelves. It was the last installment in a generous stream of advice and suggestions that started when I met Bob in 1994 during my second year of my PHD studies in Ann Arbor. Over the years, his messages had ranged from articles he'd read from documentaries he seen. One of his favorite documentaries was Looking for Sugar Band, a DVD about the Detroit singer who, unbeknown to himself, had become a rock star in South Africa during the times of antiapartheid embargo that had isolated the country from the rest of the world. I remember that, I might even have seen it with Bob perhaps. International trade indeed, Peter says, was always lurking around the corner. When I learned about his passing, I did not quite know what to do. So, I went online and Googled his name. I came across his essay, My Studies in International Economics, some of you may have seen that. It is, as you would expect, knowing Bob, very much no nonsense and unsentimental. It did contain a few things that I had forgotten or may never had known. Bob, actually, did not start out as an economist. At Berkley, his first academic steps were in studying languages, Spanish in particular. Before embarking on a PHD, he also obtained an MBA from Chicago. I must have known that but I didn't remember it with a focus on accounting. This together with his experience working as a civilian auditor in occupied Japan. Really? You'd think this was fiction. As he wrote, himself, built, or established his phenomenal organizational skills. These account for an endless list of workshops, conferences, and symposia with his signature. And, that I certainly do know. Those same skills also made it possible that he, barely able to walk, would still travel the world until a few years ago. They also made him move around effortlessly from his blue house in Oakland to the Jewish Movie Club in Berkley that he attended on a weekly basis or to the United Artist Cinema in Shaddock, the Bistro Liaison, the Tutoria Corso [assumed spelling], and the coffee houses where he would meet during my visiting UC Berkley in the spring of 2012. In the essay, I also learned about Bob's father's involvement in the meat packing business and how visiting slaughter houses while supplying while studying at Chicago convinced him that he'd have to do, nothing to do with meat packing and pursue a career in academia. This rang true. Bob had an intense distaste for things loud and violent which I always associated with what characterized him best. In a world of decibels and exclamation marks, he was soft spoken and made noise without raising his voice but with the generosity of his mind and the hospitality of his home. We will miss him. Peter. And, I didn't push the button here. Ah oh.
[ Background noise ]
I'm not able to move forward.
[ Background noise ]
Well, that does it. Can you go to the next one then? There we go. As long as you're there why don't you click on it? Here's the video from 3 of Bob's students, he has many more, in Seoul Korea. But, three of them were able to get together.
>> Hello my name is [inaudible] I [inaudible] specialized in international trade. Even though I was not taught by him, he continued to give me the various helpful advices in seminar class, people [inaudible] there. So, I was so sad to hear about his death and I mourn [inaudible] of his death and I'd like to offer very sensitive condolences to his family and to both of his children who must be one of the closest [inaudible]. Thank you.
>> Hi Allan and all my friends. My name is [inaudible]. I graduated in 2002. Bob was a terrific researcher and teacher and a strong person. I remember one day in 1997 when I was taking his seminar class, it was his [inaudible] day, and that day, Michigan football team beat Penn State 37 to nothing and eventually led them to win the national championship. My memory about Bob is like that, it's very fun and pleasant. He has been always nice and I miss him a lot and my heart is with you. Bye.
>> Hello. My name is [inaudible] I graduated [inaudible] 1996 under the guidance of Professor Stern. And, now I'm teaching at Seoul [inaudible] University [inaudible]. When I was a [inaudible] student there we were nicely benefited by the leadership of Professor Stern. He and Professor [inaudible] organized a meeting and a conference [inaudible] at the time by inviting numerous [inaudible]. So, we could always get a [inaudible] and always insights of the field. Later he published all those [inaudible] in a book, now, my students, so his grandstudents, are learning from those books. So, we are very grateful to [inaudible]. Actually, I'm publishing a book under a [inaudible] publishing he recently launched. I was planning to send the first copy to him for thanking him for all of his help and assistance. So, [inaudible], so I feel very sorry for losing that chance. So, instead I'm sending this message to him as well as his family and friends out there. Thank you.
>> Okay. [Inaudible]. I'm sorry, I should've let everybody know the order of things. I have it here but I don't divulge it.
[ Background noise ]
>> This is a little extemporaneous. I'm Barbara Bach. I've been a family friend since 1968 when I moved here. So, I don't bring the academic credentials nor the language. I'm so sorry. But, I do want to just bring a little bit of my remembrances as the family man. I would say, for about 20 years as a single parent, both the Sterns and myself shared Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve and Christmas breakfast. And one of the special memories I have, there's some young people behind Caroline doing charades at a very young age with a lot of vocabulary understanding. I'm sure it was because they lived in the Stern family or they were associated with the Stern family. The other one is the wonderful picture I have of Bob in Wellfleet. And I don't remember whether it was a rocking chair or it was just a special chair. And, there were papers. And, the papers were a thesis and conference papers. And Lucetta and I would play tennis and come home and he was happy as a clam, well no, not a clam, he was, he looked very happy in the position of reading a lot a lot of wonderful economic dissertations and things. The other, and the last one of course is that wonderful picture with the white beard and the white hair. He was Santa Clause on Christmas Eve and the best Santa Clause of all. Thank you.
[ Applause ]
>> Thank you very much. Dave your turn again. He's going to read something that Bob Baldwin said, a portion of what Bob said at the [inaudible] conference that was held in honor of Bob, some years ago. You probably know.
>> In 1997.
>> By the microphone.
>> Yes. And, this portrait of Bob Stern by Bob Baldwin is both accurate and shows you, I think, Bob Stern's uniqueness in the profession. So, this is all bob Baldwin's voice. To begin, let me express what a happy and joyous occasion this is, 1997, the [inaudible] volume. It's published by the way in that volume. We've come together to honor Bob Stern not just an economist, but, as a friend. Many of the individuals who gained fame in the professional fields are often not the most admirable individuals on the personal level. Gaining fame is not an easy task. And, many of the individuals who succeed are rather self-centered in the sense of letting others know how frequently, how important and original their own writings are in winning the race to fame. With Bob Stern, we have a completely different picture. Here's a person who's gained fame as an economist and at the same time is warmly admired as a person. I remember that [inaudible] always felt that one of the highest forms of praise he could give anyone was to say that he was a straight shooter. To my mind, this description fits Bob very well. When Bob tells you what he thinks about some idea or some person, you know that's what he's telling everyone. He doesn't play games in order to make a point or to put someone down nor does he try to elicit some remark about how great a scholar he is. You also know that your friendship with Bob is not something he's going to use for some self-serving purpose or just as a way of meeting other people who will be beneficial to his career. It's a friendship you can count on for life. Now, let me move away from Bob's accomplishments, there's two pages of accomplishments in here, through his writings and discuss another important feature of his career, namely his ability to attract an extraordinarily talented group of graduate students. He's done this consistently over 30 years and how extraordinary this accomplishment is, he thinks that Jagdish Bhagwati is the only rival to Bob Stern. I, Bob Baldwin, have always been rather envious of Bob on this point. Dave Richardson and I have had a number of good students who've gone on to distinguished academic careers. But, nothing like Bob has had. My fame to claim in terms of producing other economist has been achieved the old fashioned way through procreation and arranging marriages. A lot of Baldwin kids are economists and married to economists. I began to think about just how Bob Stern might have succeeded at this remarkable feat. Maybe, he gets those good students because he's so kind and considerate to them and thus they become attached to them in his field. He has a kind of friendly grandfatherly quality. Perhaps he invites them over to the house and serves up one of his nice buffets and lets Lucetta talk to them and ease their personal problems. Well, maybe. So another hypothesis I thought about is that perhaps he charms them with his unique personality. Well, perhaps. What is the secret of attracting so many top notch graduate students? Well, after talking to several of them I think I figured it out. Bob has followed what I would call the big time football model. He must have become familiar with it over the many years he had at Michigan. Coaches go out and recruit their players. And, that's what Bob seems to do. He identifies the top graduate students, not just those who've wondered into trade, but those in other fields. Ed Leamer was recruited. But, how successful a recruitment done? Well, first of all, you got to have some scholarships to attract recruits. And this is where the Stern Deardorff Research Department. Bob is not an envious man, by the way, making these comments but he was envious at this point, comes into play. Those two guys, Stern and Deardorff have used Bob's MBA knowledge to put together a highly efficient smooth research operation that must be the envy of many private research firms. They put out first grade research proposals. I know this from personal experience in competing against them. And, they found places to tap and research funds that I haven't even heard about. Bob Baldwin would be embarrassed at my theatrical rendering. But this is, I'm just reading the words here. But, successful recruiting is much more than having attractive scholarships. The key question in the mind of a recruit is whether the particular team he joins will be useful in helping him to get into the pros after he or she completes his or her college career. And, Bob Stern is especially helpful on that point. And he goes on to illustrate. None of the rest of us has come close to operating such an organization as the Michigan research machine. So, I hope I have reminded you of some of the many ways in which Bob Stern is an extraordinary individual. His administrative ability, his unflappability, his ability to persuade you to present a paper at one of his conferences even though you're already overcommitted. I much say how wonderful it is to know Bob and wish him and Lucetta continued success and happiness in the rest of their professional careers and personal lives.
>> Thank you.
[ Applause ]
>> That reminds me of another feature of my collaboration with Bob over the years which is quite often others would give credit to Deardorff and Stern as though we had done them things equally. But in many cases that wasn't true and it certainly wasn't true here. I never got a grant in my life. I never even tried. Bob is always the one that raised the money, always. I wouldn't know how and thank goodness I didn't have to. Okay. Next, I see I neglected once again to advance this. But, the next one is a video from Keith Maskus. I didn't do this to the others and I apologize for that. But, I better let you know what's coming. Video from Keith Maskus. Then, Marina, there you are, you're going to speak a little bit. Then, I'm going to read some remarks from Bernard Hokmayan. And then we've got a video from Rajesh Chadha and his family. And the final speaker, before we open it up, will be Barbara Piche [assumed spelling] which, there you are. Okay, I knew you came in, I, yeah, good. Okay. So, here we have Keith Maskus which he thinks I'm not going to manage it but I bet I can. Oh but you're going to check.
>> Hi everybody. This is Keith Maskus out in Boulder Colorado. Sorry, I can't be there to join you and help thank and remember Bob Stern and all he did for all of us. I'd just like to spend a few minutes telling a couple stories and then finishing up. Bob was instrumental in my whole decision to study international trade. I actually went to Michigan many, many years ago to become a development economist. That didn't really take for me. But, looking around I saw this guy Bob Stern who was traveling around the world all the time. And that really was attractive to me. So, I started talking to him about this kind of career. And, he awarded me with a very tedious research assistantship, but, it was worth doing, finding all of that data in the library and putting it all onto punch cards because that turned out to be my first strong publication joined with Bob way back in 1981, really got me started on my career. And, Bob also was really good about motivation, he gave me some gentle motivation to finish my dissertation a few years into my time at Michigan when I told him that my undergraduate college, which I really didn't want to go back and teach there, was offering me a job before I finish. And, his answer was well you could do worse. So, I thought I'd better try to get on with my dissertation at that time. Let me just mention a few characteristics Bob had that I thought were really fantastic. One was his incredible set of connections and his ability to get famous and interesting people to come to Ann Arbor and talk. I was always blown away from these people he'd get from Washington, U.S. Tierra, Commerce and everyone else in addition to all of the famous trade economists. So, that, to me, was a real attraction studying international trade. And, an ability that he had to write insightful papers at the last minute convinced me that maybe I was meant to do everything right on time. Bob had a mysterious but unfailing intuition about which students would do well at which tasks. And, I think we all benefited from that very much. He had a real dedication to getting the work of his students circulated and presented to help launch their careers. I was certainly a very direct beneficiary of that presenting my work at the Bureau at the ADA meetings and many other places. He had an unfailing commitment throughout his professional life to engage in new subjects and encourage others to think and write about additional things, new areas. And, of course, along the [inaudible] really built a program for international trade at Michigan which was very, very innovative and important. So, I think Bob's got a lasting legacy. His students and grandstudents including some of my own, have students who are very well established in the profession. They're everywhere, they're making big impacts. And, it's really amazing to think of how many successful trade and development economists went through Michigan or others who had been early through Michigan with his direct or indirect guidance. So, as I said, for me personally, there are several of my own students who are now quite successful all of them using techniques that Bob or Allan or both put together that we tried to copy over to us. So, definitely a lasting legacy. Let me just finish by saying I'm personally honored that I've been asked over at Scientific to continue Bob's work as editor of their series in international economics. I'm looking forward to doing that and keeping Bob's fantastic program going there. So, finally, let me just give you my best wishes to all of Bob's family and friends there and colleagues at Ann Arbor. He will be missed not only there but around the world. So, thank you and good luck on the, on the remembrance.
[ Background noise ]
>> The World Scientific Company, I would, I, as soon as I, almost as soon as I heard about Bob's death, I contacted them. I know them. And, told them about it. And they were, of course, very unhappy to hear it. So, they sent along a couple of slides. I think this one is the most important one just conveying their sympathy. But, backing up, there's an example of some of the books he's, he has edited as a series editor. I don't know, I think several dozen of these volumes in through World Scientific. And, it's really playing quite a role. Okay. Marina.
[ Background noise ]
>> Thank you Allan. I first met Bob Stern somewhere between 40 and 50 years ago when I was teaching at the University of Pittsburgh and Bob invited me, me as a young economist and an even more junior colleague of mine to come and give a paper in his seminar. And, I have no recollection of what the paper was about. But, I do remember two things from that seminar. One was that it was in the old economics building which I think burned down shortly thereafter. And, it had been, Bob's seminar was in the basement. And, it had been raining quite hard in Ann Arbor for the preceding few days. And, I remember that my feet got very wet because the building leaked so badly. I know that a lot of people lost valuable work in that fire. But, I must say, as far as the building was concerned, possibly its time had come. And, the other thing I remember is thinking what a terrific guy this Bob Stern was and I hoped that sometime I could be as effective a teacher, particularly in that kind of Socratic method that one uses in a seminar as he was. And, I'm not sure that I ever made, quite made it. But, it was a nice goal to aim at. And, one way I have emulated Bob is that, like him, I just couldn't seem to get the hang of retirement and I've gone on teaching long before, long after any sensible person would have retired. I don't know if I'll ever quite match Bob's record. But, I certainly have followed in his footsteps in that respect. I was never formally taught by Bob Stern. I got my undergraduate degree at Harvard and my graduate degree at Columbia. But, in an informal sense, he may have been my most important teacher because he wrote a book called the Balance of Payments. He told me it actually was one of his less successful books. Well, maybe so. But, that book absolutely revolutionized my approach to teaching international trade and finance. And, even beyond that, when I became the Chief Economist of General Motors, I forced my staff to do forecasting and analysis as if the United States were an open economy and not simply a closed one. That wasn't enough to save General Motors from its ultimate fate because many of the very senior executives didn't really take to heart what I said. But, at least I tried and that was also due to the enlightenment that I got from Bob Stern. All in all, Bob Stern was, in one person, a quintessential teacher, scholar, and gentleman. The world won't see his like again. I'm convinced. And, it's with great sadness that contemplate the fact that he's no longer with us.
[ Applause ]
[ Background noise ]
>> Okay. I want to read you, it's a short message from Bernard Hokmayan. Here we go. I think I just got it today from him. Hi Allan. Sorry I can't be there. I'm afraid of videos, not my cup of tea. As you know, Bob had a great impact on me. I would not be where I am today if it had not been for him offering me an RA slot and it being conditional on switching into the PHD program. I didn't know that.
[ Inaudible ]
Oh really? Okay. Wow. Which was not my intention at all when I came to Ann Arbor. I ended up working in a field that I disliked the most when I was studying economics in Rotterdam, something that was completely due to him. As he said at is [inaudible] conference, he liked to steer people in certain directions and that certainly applied to me. He was a fantastic mentor. I still remember getting my first essay back in the first class I took with him covered in a mass of red ink. Many of us have been there. He had essentially rewritten it even though he gave me an A for it. The red ink coverage ratio diminished over time as I learned to write which is something else that I owe to him. Another thing I learned from him was to look at data and get a good sense of orders of magnitude and the stylized facts, something that I now find myself doing with students. Anyway, many good memories, best Bernard. Okay. Another video, the last one actually. We just, this, as I said came in within the last hour. Well, now it's two hours. And you'll hear who these people are.
>> Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. I know that all of you have gathered in an effort to for the memory of Professor Robert Stern. I wish I could have been there. But, am not able to. I am joining all of you and Bob's family, both Catherine and Everett to convey a message of condolence. This message of condolence comes from the [inaudible] family. Bot Stern was an [inaudible] but that is to our family. My relationship with Bob and Allan Deardoff started in 1993 when Bob and Lucetta visited India for the first time and I met with them. Both of them were very nice to all of us and my family. And, in 1994, our professional relationship started when I visited Ann Arbor. And, thankful to Professor Bob Stern and Lucetta for the love and affection that they give to me while I was visiting Ann Arbor. Professor Allan Deardoff has also been my guide and mentor in the effort of creating a city model for India. I'm speaking partly on professional mentor where both Professor Robert Stern and Professor Allan Deardoff got together with us at the National [inaudible] of the [inaudible] Economic Research. And, together, we brought a model for India [inaudible]. It is still being used, still in use. I'm extremely thankful to you, Professor Stern, for giving us this opportunity of getting together and, for creating with us in making [inaudible] in partner with the University of Michigan. I have very fond memories about Bob and Lucetta because during 1994 to 1999 or 2000 they visited us about 6 to 7 times. And, I also visited the same number of times. Both of them very fond of Indian and what an angelic smile on Bob's face you could always see. We, as a family, have been very attached to Bob and Lucetta and hence we are very sorry and pained to know about this irreparable loss. To the community of economists, to the family of Bob Stern both Caroline and Everett I would like to convey my sincere message of condolence and pray to [inaudible] that the body and soul may rest in eternal peace. My wife Lasita [assumed spelling] also joins me and my son Rajah who has been very friendly with both Bob, Bob and Lucetta and would like to say a few words. And Bob was like to my daughter who wouldn't appear because we were not able to fit in the frame. But, [inaudible].
>> Lasita [inaudible], in one of the pictures, in one of the pictures you can see Bob Stern holding Lasita when she was just a year old, when she was a kid and she's now grown up. And she also joins us in saying in conveying that message condolence.
>> [Inaudible] whenever I met Uncle Bob he had a smile on his face and I have fond memories of Michigan with my dad and we had a great time and Lucetta, they were just like [inaudible] and of course I'm very sad to know about Uncle Bob.
>> And we, at the end once again I would like to convey my Condolence to Caroline and Everett and I know how attached Professor Allan Deardoff you were or you have been to Professor Robert Stern. I know, it's [inaudible] but I think we can all make the best of it with the lessons learned a lot from his professional and human qualities. Thank you very much.
>> Thank you.
>> Thank you. And in India as we say [inaudible].
>> Rest in peace [inaudible].
>> And finally Barbara Piche.
[ Background noise ]
>> Hi it's kind of hard to be the last speaker. I feel a little bit time pressured. But anyway, I'm hoping that I don't take too much time. So, I'm also a former student of Bob's. It was at the master degree level. However, I first encountered Bob as an undergraduate student in an international economics and trade class with him. And, I say encountered as opposed to met because I think I didn't say a word in the class the entire semester. I didn't introduce my class, myself, I didn't ever go to his office hours. So, in retrospect, I sort of regret that now. But, I made up for it when I became an IP student later. My first real meeting with him was in a graduate seminar class on trade policy. And, I'll never forget that class because there were only about 10 of us in it. And, I think Bernard may have been in it too. I can't remember. But, it was a very small class. The first day, Bob walks in and says, you know, hi I'm Bob Stern. Somebody raised their hand with a question, Professor Stern. He said, no, no, I'm Bob. And, that really floored me because in that undergraduate class, he was Professor Stern. So, suddenly to have Bob in the room was quite interesting. And, I think in the very expecting class, he came in and invited us all to his house for dinner that night. So, poor Lucetta had to order Roger Ronnie I think or some kind of Indian food. I don't think she was expecting us. But, he showed up with ten students that evening. So, in January of 1985 which was my final semester in IPS, Bob asked me what I was going to do when I graduated. And, I said that I didn't know. but, in my head I was thinking well, I'll probably go back to Washington DC, I'll go to the Export Import Bank which is where I had my internship or maybe I'll go to intelligence and research at the State Department because I was also focusing on Eastern Europe and the planned economies at that time. But, he told me, without my saying anything that he had a good opportunity for me or a good idea. So, I told Allan I wanted to speak because Bob got me my first job. And, he really did get me my first job. So, one of his former students from a few years earlier was a man by the name of Paul McGonigal. He was a mid-career Foreign Service officer who had taken a break to do a master's degree here at Michigan under Bob. I think he went back to the Foreign Service only for a year or two and then decided to take a job with the First National Bank of Chicago running their Country Risk Management Division. I think that after the debt crisis in developing countries, all banks decided that they needed to understand the countries where they were lending a lot better. So, Paul was in need of an Eastern European economist and he reached out to Bob Immediately. There were three of us at IPS who also were interested in Eastern Europe and studying Eastern Europe. It was Beatty Simonton, Michael Blackman, and myself and I'm really proud that I remember their names because I haven't kept in touch. But, it shows how meaningful this was to me. There were three of us. Bob didn't discriminate. He recommend all of us, he encouraged all of us to apply. I don't know if Beatty and Michael applied because they think they really wanted to go into the government. But, you know, Bob kept talking about how wonderful Chicago was, I think, because he had lived there for a while and studied there. Lucetta also really liked Chicago or at least that's the way they were talking at that time. So, I decided to apply. And, eventually, I got the offer. When I received the offer I realized that the salary was going to be twice as high as the export import salary in Washington. So, I decided to take the job. So, Bob did get me my first job and for that I am forever grateful. We lost touch for a few years while I was living first in Chicago and then later in Europe. I spent 12 years in Europe working still for First Chicago which became JP Morgan Chase. Also the OECD in [inaudible] there. It was sort of still the pre-email time. So, it was harder to stay in touch with people and, I don't know, I didn't do a very good job. But, anyway, we reconnected when I moved back to Ann Arbor in 2000. Since then, Bob had become a very close friend, a colleague, a collaborator and even a confidant. We organized a conference together on the WTO which I think was pretty successful. He offered me the opportunity to do some editing on those books that Allan showed earlier. And, we also worked on a World Bank funded consulting project to assess the economic impact of the WTO accession on the financial sector of Ethiopia. What I admired most about Bob in the years that I knew him was his open mindedness, his creativity and problem solving ability, his fierce independence and his incredible work ethic. I mean this guy was just working all the time. And, he enjoyed every minute of it too. It wasn't hard for him ever or uncomfortable for him. He just really had a smile on his face and I loved seeing that. Working at the University of Michigan has not always been easy for me over the past 15 years. I think I'm kind of a strange animal because I don't fit into the academic mold and I don't really fit into the administrative role either. Bob, always encouraged me, though, not to worry about that and to keep on doing what I was doing and to do it as well as possible. He always suggested that I do what I think is right for my programs and not to worry about the consequences. Does that sound familiar? It sounds like Bob. I think academia needs more people like Bob Stern. And, I'm thankful to have known him and to have had him as a friend and mentor.
[ Applause ]
>> Okay. That's all of the people who had told me in advance that they wanted to speak. But, I'd be happy to hear from anybody else who would like to say anything. Chung.
>> Come up here so you'll get.
>> Hi, my name is Chung Chin [assumed spelling] and I'm economics professor at Perdue. So, I got my degree, can you hear me in the back? Okay. So, I got my degree from Michigan and my area is international trade. Now, I did not take a class from Bob and Bob was not on my thesis committee. Still I learned a lot from and I benefited a lot from his presence as I explained below. So, when I started graduate school in 1997, a long time ago, I did not know much about economics. The economics papers I read can be counted using my two hands. And, I knew nothing about doing research. Then, of course, in my second year, Bob and Allan hired me as their RA their research assistant, a slave, to work on building a model to forecast U.S. trade in services. So, I had weekly meetings with Bob and Allan and also with Saul Hymans. I learned a lot from those guys. And, economic research was no longer a mystery to me. In addition, Bob and Allan were resourceful and they secured an office for me in the second floor of [inaudible] which was the [inaudible] building of the economics department at that time. Well, as it turns out, that was a big boost to my self-esteem because all the other graduate students had their offices in the first floor. So, for the first time in my life, I felt my future career would take a path like that. Later I heard that Bob had a tragic car accident which made it difficult for him to walk. To my great surprise I still saw him a lot around the department. He would carry a walking stick and walking aid and he would take small steps and walk slowly. I would say hi and he would say hi and he would always, he would always smile. No grimace no frowning, always that smile, I smile that said he was happy and he enjoyed everything he had. So, this is the picture I have in my mind when I think about Bob. When I close my eyes, grey hair, walking stick, taking small steps, and walking slowly, and wearing the most genuine and warm smile on his face. And, he would always keep going always moving forward too happy, too happy to stop. So, Caroline and Everett, please accept my condolences. When Bob passed, you lost a great father and the economics profession lost a great pioneer. But, I assure you his legacy stays in my profession, in me, and in other former students and colleagues. He always lives in our minds and in our hearts.
[ Applause ]
>> You may think being on the second floor isn't that big a deal. But, since the first floor would tend to flood, even though we had a new building not new. Anyway. Sir.
[ Background noise ]
You have something to say to you young fellow.
>> I'm younger than you.
>> I know.
>> Actually this is a really good room for being younger than. So, I'm Paul Kerant [assumed spelling]. I was a friend of Bob's and Lucetta's. I never worked with Bob. And, although I knew that there was this machine that produced papers and books and papers and books that said Deardorff and Stern on them. And, indeed when Allan says he never raised any of his own money, that is completely true. Bob really did it all. I just want to have a moment to remember how much fun he was, right. And, I mean really party, party fun. Right. There were great parties at the Stern's. Lucetta, of course, was a spectacularly gifted dancer to all of rock and roll. And, Bob just enjoyed the scene and the laughter and people having a good time. There was lots to drink, lots to eat, people smoked cigarettes in those days, people smoked all kinds of things in those days. And, it was, it was, there were really good times that he enjoyed very much. And, I'm remembering some birthday party of his maybe 50, maybe 60 you know, all of those young ages look young to me, in which Lucetta produced a VIN diagram. Anybody else remember this? And, it was boring, interesting, and then the intersection of boring and interesting was Bob. And, somehow that has stayed with me all these years. I actually never found Bob to be that boring. But, you know, he was the stellate one compared to Lucetta for sure. And, anyhow, that conveyed years of very good times and I just wanted people to remember that.
[ Applause ]
[ Inaudible ]
>> Well, I want to sort of second Paul's remarks. I got to know Bob because I had the office across from him and because he and I had houses in Wellfleet Massachusetts. And so, at some point Lucetta said, Mary why did you invite us over to your house? And I thought who is Lucetta? And, it turned out that it was Bob's wife. Bob, I just, when I think of Bob I think of Lucetta because the first thing I thought was there's this quiet person across the hall from me who seems to, as Paul says, accomplish a huge amount. And, I never quite thought, he must be rather boring, and that was my main feeling. And then, I had dinner with him and Lucetta. And, Lucetta was just a hot turkey. She is the funniest woman. My kids were there who would say we have to go out to dinner with people who are even older than you? And, I said yes [inaudible]. And, I think Barbara you were there and Bob and Lucetta and I came back and I said well you got Lucetta. Lucetta used rather salty language and expressed her opinions quite bluntly. This woman is cool mom. And then we got to know Bob and Lucetta and we realized every time we went to Japanese movies, they were there. Every time we went to something sort of risque movie wise, they were there. They Lucetta told us, by the way, the story about the butcher. Yeah, Bob's father was a butcher. He went to get his MBA so he could go back to Chicago so he can be a butcher. My story was a little different than the one someone else gave. Lucetta said I told him I wouldn't marry him if he became the butcher. And so, I think we have Lucetta to thank for the, for this. But, Bob, they just knew how to have fun. Every time there was a dance party at the Ford School, they were there. Every time, Bob, they invited us over to their house to see some movies, they were always movies I never would've thought of seeing or never had even heard of. And, I remember them very fondly. And, I don't know if Carolyn remembers. But, it seems like every time Bob and Lucetta invited me for something, about every other time I arrived the day afterwards. And, they always invited me in and we spent the evening together even though I were using the leftovers. I don't know many people who would be that forgiving but they did the same to me.
[ Applause ]
>> Anybody else want to say a word or two? Jim Hi, are you even old enough to know these people?
>> No I'm not.
>> Yeah, I only arrived at Michigan last year. And, so I, you know, I, I got to know Bob when I arrived at the university 18 years ago. And, I always found him a lot of fun. We didn't, I'm not sure whether he was retired at that point and I'm not sure how one would know actually whether he was emeritus at that point. But, he was always around and he was always a lot of fun. We saw these, you know, former students of Bob's who clearly are very devoted to him. He was no less devoted to his students. And, I knew that because there was a period of time when I was director of the PHD program in the Economics Department, this was about 15 years ago, 911 came along during that period. And, right after 911, people forget this now, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service issued an Edict that was basically kicking out of the country non-U.S. Citizen PHD students who were beyond a certain number of years in the program. And, the director of the PHD program had to be involved and anyway it was a complicated mess. At Michigan, we, you know, tried not to do that if a student was making progress toward the degree, we didn't want them not to get the degree. But, you know, we have a very large program. And, there were some students who basically ran afall of this new Edict, one of whom was a student of Bob's that Bob has recruited to the university. And, he was very upset that it was necessary to, you know, basically exceed to what the INS was insisting on. And, I was involved. And, you know, Bob let me know that he didn't think I was doing the, you know, I wasn't doing it right. Maybe some of you have had this experience with Bob. That was the first time I had had that experience with him. And, anyway, nonetheless, we had to do it. Okay, that was, that was 14 years ago. The student went on, left the university without a PHD, wound up getting a PHD somewhere else. I knew that because Bob sent me a digital image of the person's PHD degree. And then, Bob has sent me every article, a copy of ever article that student has published. And, wouldn't you know, this guy's actually published a bunch of articles. And so, I get, I had been getting two or three articles a year form Bob that were reprints of the articles that this one time student of his at Michigan. And, I know that Bob's passed away now because I haven't gotten an article in a short period of time. But, you know, it's, students are devoted to you if you're devoted to the students. And, it's really clear he was that kind of guy.
[ Applause ]
>> Anybody else? Luther.
[ Background noise ]
>> Well, except, possibly for Marina here, I'm the only guy as I know from the Business School across the street. And, when I came on the faculty in the fall of 67 actually fiscally 68, I learned slowly that this was not only Tappan Street that, or Monroe that separated the two buildings, but deep seeded, let's say, ideological differences on [inaudible]. They were there very alive at the time. But, I was unaffected by all of this. And the Econ Department and Allan and Bob needed an outside person to serve with them on the PHD programs. And so, I had the pleasure and the privilege of doing probably about 12 to 15 dissertations as the outside member. And, I must say I learned an awful lot from Bob. His uniqueness came through the presentations that I just repeated here. his unique capability of being the nicest guy possible and yet being very distinct and hard on the facts, on the content, that taught me a lesson that served me well for the rest of overall in my career. I was involved in 55 dissertations either as chair or as part of the memory. And, sometimes I still read the famous students that I had the pleasure of reading their dissertations and working with Allan and Leamer and other people were at that time. So, it was a very personal thing that I was one of the few people before me in the Business School hired professional economist who had a good relation with the Econ Department and I went to Bob's conferences and it enriched my career here at Michigan substantially. So, I can only chime in what other people said. He a great man and has affected my career and my life very much. Thank you very much.
[ Applause ]
>> I see that is 5:30. So, maybe we should, I suspect that there's probably more that would like to speak. But, I suggest we stop now and those who wish, please go outside, there's, I believe, some refreshments waiting for you out there. And, we can continue the conversation. As I said at the start, after that a little bit, anybody who wants to join me and others at the Gourmet Garden Restaurant for dinner is welcome to do so.