In Memoriam

Travel Industry Leader Ralph Bahna, MBA 65

Alumnus Ralph Bahna, MBA 65

Alumnus Ralph Bahna, MBA 65, founder of the Club Quarters hotel chain and longtime Priceline.com chairman, passed away Feb. 24. He was 71.

Born in Grand Rapids, Mich., Bahna attended the University of Michigan, where he was a Big Ten wrestling champion. After earning his MBA at Berkeley, Bahna went on to drive countless innovations in the travel industry.

Bahna was credited with helping to turn around Trans World Airlines (TWA) by inventing business class while still in his 20s. He then led a turnaround as CEO at Cunard Line in the 1980s and in 1993 founded Club Quarters, private, city-center hotels, which he led until his death. Bahna also was a founding investor of Priceline.com and served on its board since 2004.

In a rare talk in 2012, Bahna shared his “secret sauce” for leading change with Berkeley MBA students. His recipe for success included the ability to boil down a challenge or course of action very concisely, sales skills to convince others to implement a solution, and tenacity. He noted, for instance, how his efforts to successfully create the predecessor to business class travel at TWA required him to rewrite a proposal more than 20 times.

Bahna was a member of the Haas School Board and generous supporter of Berkeley-Haas. He also supported several other organizations, including the King and Low Heywood Thomas Schools, the Young Presidents’ Organization, Columbia New York Presbyterian, and the Center for Integrative Medicine & Wellness at Stamford Hospital.


Accounting Prof. Emeritus John Wheeler

Accounting Prof. Emeritus John Wheeler

Accounting Professor Emeritus John T. Wheeler, whose thought leadership in accounting contributed to the development of management sciences and computer-based business games at UC Berkeley in the 1960s, died Oct. 21. He was 92.

Born in Minneapolis, Minn., Wheeler earned his PhD in industrial economics at MIT. He began his academic career teaching at the University of Minnesota before coming to UC Berkeley in 1954.

Wheeler’s teaching and research focused on preparing business students for the accounting profession. He co-authored the book Competition and Its Regulation (1954) and wrote the chapter “Accounting and Economics” in the Handbook of Modern Accounting Theory by Morton Backer (1955).

Wheeler also played a role in UC Berkeley’s early interest in computers and business games. In 1958, he introduced the concept of computer business games and simulations as teaching techniques for graduate business education. He served as chairman of the Center for Research in Management Sciences (1966 to 1968), director of the school’s PhD program (1968 to 1969), associate dean for academic affairs (1969 to 1971), chairman of the Accounting Group and director of the Professional Accounting Program (1974 to 1978), and director of Summer Sessions. He worked at Berkeley for nearly 40 years, retiring in 1991.


Haas@Work Lecturer Pierre M. Loewe

Haas@Work Lecturer Pierre M. Loewe

Haas Lecturer Pierre M. Loewe, who spent his career in innovation consulting and teaching, died Dec. 31 from leukemia. He was 67.

Born in Paris, Loewe earned his MS in management at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. After working at Centre d’Enseignement Supérieur du Management Public, Loewe became a project manager at McKinsey & Company. He later held executive positions at Salomon/North America and The MAC Group, later acquired by Gemini Consulting.

From 1994 to 1995, Loewe taught strategic implementation at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management until he co-founded Strategos, where he helped clients launch businesses, develop strategies, and embed innovation in their firms. Loewe began teaching at Berkeley-Haas in 2010 and led the inaugural Haas@Work experiential learning class, where he was known for providing a well-organized, academically rigorous curriculum.


David Barry, BS 38
Edward Arnold, BS 40
Ernest Clark, BS 40
Robert Clottu, BS 40
Ralph Countryman, BS 42, CSNG (Educ.) 64
Frances Nelson, BA 43
Francis Mahoney, BS 44
Donald Peters, BS 44
Audrey Barr, BS 47
Rudolph Kupfer, BS 47, MBA 48, PHD (Educ.) 57
Walter Burke, BS 48
Waldemar Schroeter, BS 48
Elton Sherwin, BS 48, MBA 49
William Barros, BS 49 Fay Blair, BS 49, MBA 50
Everet Gale, BS 49
Leonard Schlussel, BS 49
Warren Simms, BS 49
Thomas Bardet, BS 50, MBA 51
Elva Jovisich, BS 50
Lora Quon, BS 50
John Reed, BS 50
Frederick Webster, BS 50, MBA 51, PHD 65
Lloyd Root, MBA 50
Robert Dana, BS 51
John Schiefer, BS 51
Carroll Whitney, BS 51
Allan Anderson, BS 52
Cecil Weintraub, BS 52
David Hutchison, BS 53
John Kappos, BS 53, MBA 54, JD 57
Hugh Barton, BS 54
Howard Morrow, BS 54
Raymond Willsey, BS 54
Evan Siggelkow, BS 55
David Willman, BS 55,MBA 57
Robert Hearther, BS 57
Eugene Fallentine, MBA 57
Paul Bruderer, BA 58
Alan Airoldi, BS 58, MBA 60
David Brown, BS 58
David Knoll, BS 58, MBA 66
Robert Mullikin, BS 58
Haworth Bray, MBA 59
Carl Neidlinger, BS 60
Michael Barnett, BS 61
Stephen Lyon, BA 63, MBA 65
Eleanor Choy, BS 64
Thomas Bardeen, BS 68, MBA 76
David Claridge, MBA 77
Thomas Walsh, BA 79, MBA 83
Jane France, BS 85
Lisa Pfeil, BS 87
John Appel, Friend
Masud Mehran, Friend
Raleigh Shaklee, Friend

[Back to top]