Fond Farewell to Marketing Professor Jos Van Acker

It is with sorrow that we have learned that Professor Emeritus Jos Van Acker, the founder of Marketing in Belgium, has passed away. Not only was he Belgium’s very first marketing professor, but as Professor André Vlerick’s first assistant he helped Prof Vlerick lay the foundations for Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School and, in particular, the current Masters in Marketing programme (at the time of its inception, it was known as the Special Licence Marketing).

A professor as a professor should be

“Lessons in which each word was carefully considered, with carefully composed structure and nuanced message. His texts well thought-out and perfectly balanced. Champion for ‘commercial policy’ – of course, not the slick sales pitch, nor the obvious advertisement, but rather a methodical approach towards the customer. Jos, to friends and acquaintances, the stylish perfectionist. Dark blue suit and light blue shirt, and always with an amiable smile. Constructive discussions rounded out with a small glass of sherry. Providing opportunities to young students. Conscientious and with a deep sense of justice. With soundness and a sense of responsibility, sympathetic towards the School’s future. Tactful and in all modesty, but inspiring and visionary…”
Jean-Pierre Saelen (Former Assistant to Professor Van Acker and Adjunct Professor Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)

“Jos, many, if not all, will say, was a gentleman. But he was not just a gentleman. He also had a very sharp intellect and he was a ‘shaper’. He was a crucial force in shaping not just his discipline but also the School. I remember a board meeting, a long time ago, at which everything depended on him. He chose to put the School first … as we all knew he would.
Jos voiced criticism discretely and in a measured tone. To the outside world he was loyal and defended policy as decided in common. Jos will be remembered as one of our founding fathers, one of those who ‘served’ the School exceedingly well. It is rare that a great man is also gentle, brave, humorous and generous. Prof Dr Jos Van Acker was one of those.”
Louis Verbeke (Chairman, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)

Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School in general, and the Marketing Competence Centre in particular, would not be what they are today were it not for his passion, energy and dedication. One of the most erudite, he was also one of the most kind-hearted persons I have ever met.
Gino Van Ossel (Professor of Marketing, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)

We offer his family our heartfelt sympathy.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire staff of Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.

Louis-H. Verbeke
Chairman, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School

Philippe Haspeslagh
Dean, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School

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