Peter Lusztig. (In Memoriam)
Dean Emeritus Peter A. Lusztig passed away on Sunday, January 26th, 2014. Peter was a colleague, a mentor and a dear friend to many of us and he will be deeply missed.
Peter graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from UBC in 1954 with a specialization in public administration. Outside of class, he was an active student as a member of the Thunderbird Swim Team and a member of the AMS. After completing an MBA at Western in 1955, he began his finance career at the BC Electric Company (BC Hydro). While at BC Electric, Peter was recruited to join the Finance Division at UBC by Leslie Wong in 1957. After several years of teaching, he joined the doctoral program in finance at Stanford where he received his Ph.D. in 1965. Peter was asked to be Chair of the Finance Division in 1968 and was named Dean of the Faculty in 1977, a position he held until returning to the Finance Division in 1991. He remained a member of the Faculty until his retirement in 1995.
As Chair of the Finance group and as Dean, Peter led the Faculty to become one of the top business schools in the country. He established the first Advisory Council of a business school in Canada, established an internationally recognized Ph.D. Program, and assisted Shanghai Jiao Tong University in launching business courses alongside their engineering courses. Perhaps most importantly, under Peter’s leadership, UBC joined the ranks of the top research business schools on the planet.
Peter felt strongly that faculty contribute to the community that they lived in and he practiced what he preached. Early in his career, he accepted an appointment to the BC Royal Commission on Automobile Insurance. Subsequently, he accepted appointments to a number of boards: CANFOR, ICBC, Royal Sun Alliance, Vancouver General Hospital and its Foundation, Tree Island Industries, ROINS Financial Holdings, Healthcare Benefit Trust, Arts Umbrella and the Vancouver Board of Trade. He served as sole commissioner of the BC Commission of Inquiry into the Tree Fruit Industry and chaired the Federal/Provincial Asia Pacific Initiative. Shortly before retiring, the federal government appointed Peter as Federal Commissioner to the BC Treaty Commission for 4 consecutive 2-year terms.
Through all that he did in his life, Peter inspired those of us who knew him, to be better scholars and citizens. But it was in how he lived his life that he inspired us to be better people. He cared about how his colleagues were doing, was quick to find ways to help us with whatever life put in front of us, and encouraged us in all that we did. We will truly miss him.
The BC Flag (Main Mall and Agronomy Road – UBC Campus) was lowered on Thursday, February 6, 2014 in remembrance.