Eric van Merkensteijn, lecturer for the Center for Organizational Dynamics, passed away February 14, following surgery. He was 61 years old.
A native of the Netherlands, Mr. van Merkensteijn graduated from the College in 1968. That same year, he joined the staff of Penn’s English Language Laboratory, eventually serving as its director. He continued his education at Penn and went on to earn both an MBA and MS in education in 1971 and 1973, respectively. Mr. van Merkensteijn joined Wharton in 1975 serving as associate dean of finance and administration and later as adjunct professor of public policy and management. In 1985 he began teaching at the Center for Organizational Dynamics, a position he held at the time of his death. Mr. van Merkensteijn co-authored To Improve Office Design … Turn it Upside Down.
Over the years he consulted on issues of generational transfers and other intra-family matters for several local and regional family businesses. Always interested in entrepreneurship, he realized his personal dream of being a restaurateur in the 1990s, when he opened Van M’s Music Bar & Grille in Old City, Philadelphia.
Mr. van Merkensteijn is survived by his wife, Sallie London Griffin; children, Anne, James, and Clare; and grandchildren, Julia, Sophia, Mattias, Gabriel, Tobi, and Henry.
Donations may be made to the Opera Company of Philadelphia, 1420 Locust St., Ste. 210, Philadelphia, PA 19102 or to the Friends of the Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine St., Philadelphia, PA 19103.
Plans for a University memorial service and a scholarship fund have not yet been released.