Ernest Gerald (Gerry) Hurst, Jr., emeritus professor of operations & information management at Wharton, passed away suddenly in Quito, Ecuador on January 15, at the age of 76.
Originally from Hillsboro, Illinois, Dr. Hurst earned his BS, MS and PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and held a two-year faculty appointment at the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management in Brussels.
Before coming to Wharton, Dr. Hurst started a management science group in the Power Transmission Division of the General Electric Company.
He came to Wharton in 1969 where he was one of the founders of the decision sciences department, now operations & information management, and became the first chairman of that department in 1975. Dr. Hurst had many roles at Wharton, including the director of the Executive MBA Program and the first assistant dean for International Affairs. His research and teaching interests spanned the department’s mission and included the translation of newly-developed techniques into tools useable on real management problems. During his career, he published numerous research papers focusing on information systems’ support for management decision-making.
After becoming emeritus in 1996, Dr. Hurst co-founded GHR Systems, Inc., a leading third-party provider of software and information services in the mortgage and consumer banking industry, where he served as president, CFO, vice chairman and director. He also served on the boards of a number of startup technology companies.
He is survived by his wife, Siri Hurst; brother, John T.; sisters, Susan Kershaw and Sara Hurst-Dodd; sons, John W. and David T.; stepson, Aram Yardumian; and grandsons, Trey Wilder Hurst and Alexander Hurst.
Donations may be made to the Bryn Athyn College Business Program, P.O. Box 708, Bryn Athyn, PA 19001, www.brynathyn.edu/give