The Lawrence legacy 2000

Tom Anger, BSc'78, MBA'82
profile from 2000

Tom Anger, BSc'78, MBA'82

School of Business Professor Emeritus Carl Lawrence spoke about his time at the School shortly before he passed away. "I used to love to see the light bulbs go on. I liked to see the kids get interested in something. That was fun," he said.

A self-described "character" who would say "terrible things in class" in order to generate discussion or a thoughtful response, Lawrence enjoyed a 28-year academic career, serving as commerce chair, acting dean and chair of the MBA program. In 1967, when he took over as commerce chair, there were only 125 students in the program. By the time he stepped down in 1980, enrollment had topped 800. Lawrence also introduced more arts courses into the curriculum, along with more in accounting, finance, marketing and human behaviour.

"His greatest contribution was to the Commerce program", said Tom Anger, BSc'78, MBA'82, Commerce program chair in 2000. "Carl raised it from essentially mediocrity to one of the best - if not the best - program in Canada. That model hasn't changed since Carl put it in place."

"Carl was one of those guys who seemed gruff on the exterior, but had a heart of gold," said Anger, who first met Lawrence when he was an MBA student in 1980. Lawrence held a lifelong belief that a university is a place for inquiry, both for his students and for himself. The most important lesson Lawrence learned as a professor was never to lie to students. When he didn't know an answer to a question, he'd say he didn't know - and then he'd find out the answer. "Kids are very, very easy to deal with, if you level with them," said Lawrence.