John Sidney Day

PETERBOROUGH, N.H. — John Sidney Day Sr., 93, died March 28, 2011, at RiverMead. Mr. Day was born Oct. 13, 1917, in Newton, Mass., the son of Marion G. and Franklin E. Day. He was a direct descendant of Robert and Mary Day, who settled in Ipswich, Mass., in 1634.

His early education was in the Boston public schools, graduating from Mechanic Arts High in 1935 (now the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science), where he won the Washington and Franklin Medal as the outstanding student in American history and was the commencement speaker honoring the 300th anniversary of public education in Boston. He attended Oxford School of Administration in Cambridge, Mass., and Tufts University. Later he received the MBA with distinction and a doctorate from Harvard University. The Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration also made him a Baker Scholar, its highest honor. After working in manufacturing for a year, he entered active duty with the United States Marine Corps in August of 1940, serving overseas with the First Marine Division for five months in Cuba, and later for 33 months in the Pacific area including Australia and the Guadalcanal, New Guinea, Cape Gloucester and Pelelieu campaigns. He retired from the Reserve in 1959 with the rank of colonel. His decorations and ribbons included the Bronze Star with Combat “V,” Presidential Unit Citation with Star, Navy Unit Citation, Combat Action Ribbon, American Defense with Star, Asiatic-Pacific Theater with Four Stars, American Theater and World War II Victory medals. Following his wartime service he worked for a small manufacturing firm and taught at a private business school. In 1950, he joined the faculty of the Harvard Graduate School of Business, where he served as an instructor and assistant professor. In 1956, he left to help found a new business school at Purdue University that later became the Krannert Graduate School of Management. There he served as an associate professor, professor, associate dean, and later the second dean of the school. In 1959, he was one of 40 professors selected nationwide by the Ford Foundation to undertake a one-year post-doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School of Business administration. In 1978, he became vice president of development at Purdue and led that university in its first major and successful fundraising campaign. Upon its completion he taught at William and Mary College as a visiting professor and thereafter returned to Purdue as the Herman C. Krannert Professor of Management, retiring in 1986 to Beaufort, S.C. In 2000, he and his late wife, Barbara, moved to RiverMead Retirement Community in Peterborough, N.H. He wrote or co-authored four books and many published teaching cases and articles and was a consultant to a number of university business schools, the Department of Defense, the Ford Foundation, and several industrial companies. He was a longtime director of a number of industrial and nonprofit organizations, serving as president of the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business, his national professional association, president of Home Hospital in Indiana, and president of the Greater Lafayette Indiana Red Cross. In 1993, Purdue awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Management. Other honors include Honorary Secretary of the State of Indiana, State of Indiana Sagamore of the Wabash, and Ford Foundation Fellow. He was a longtime member of the Masons, Rotary and Thursday clubs in Beaufort.


He is survived by two sons, John Jr. of Mission Viejo, Calif., and Stephen L. of Hollis, N.H.; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 2, 2011, at the Union Congregational Church, Concord Street, Peterborough. The Rev. Polly Shamy will officiate. A reception will follow at RiverMead, 150 RiverMead Road, Peterborough. Memorial gifts may be made to Alzheimer’s Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, D.C. 20090-6011 or Boys Town, 14100 Crawford St., Boys Town, NE 68010. Jellison Funeral Home ( is assisting the family with the arrangements.

Know when to pay your respects.