April 8, 1934 – November 6, 2020
Slingerlands, NY – The family sadly announces the passing of Donald Bourque on Friday afternoon, November 6, 2020. Donald was born April 8, 1934 in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada to Theophillus H. and Marion Blackwood Bourque.
The day before his 13th birthday his mother died in California. One of Don’s most cherished possessions is a letter his mother wrote to her “Dear Donny” just before her passing.
In the fall after his mother’s death he attended Vancouver City College, a boarding school, where he learned “how to study”. This training and a good mind earned him several scholarships at the University of Washington in Seattle where he majored in Mathematics for his Bachelor of Arts degree.
He continued on to pursuing his MBA and a PhD in Economics also from the University of Washington. Upon graduation, Don decided to remain in the USA and become a US citizen and to satisfy the draft requirements he was asked to work as an auditor for the US Department of Defense during the Vietnam War. One assignment sent him to Thailand which was the start of his many travel adventures.
Don began his professional career at General Telephone and Electronics, located in Vancouver BC where he designed cost accounting systems. He then accepted a faculty residency position with Arthur Andersen and Company located in Boston.
He remained there for two years when once again there was another move, this time to become Chair of the Accounting Department in the School of Management at Syracuse University for the next 4 years. While working in the Syracuse area he took the opportunity to attend Cornell University for Post-doctoral/MBA work from 1968 through 1970.
He was then lured to the University of Albany in 1972 to become the Associate Dean of the School of Business. While there he held two more titles within the school; Director of International Programs and finally the Dean of the Business School until he retired in 1999.
Don took several sabbaticals while at the University including one that brought him to the prestigious graduate school IMD in Switzerland. During his time there he had the opportunity to meet and work with business leaders and university professors from throughout Europe and beyond.
In 1989 Don was instrumental in forming a relationship between the University of Albany and the Graduate School of Business Administration Zurich offering dual degrees as part of their joint Executive MBA program.
His experience was invaluable in helping him to envision opportunities for University at Albany faculty and students ultimately enabling them to study and teach at universities abroad.
He taught at Fudan University in Shanghai China, the National University of Somalia in Mogadishu and DUXX in Monterrey Mexico. He established programs in Switzerland, Argentina, Somalia, Mexico, Italy and the Caribbean. He also established Executive Development Programs in conjunction with Key Bank, First American Bank, University of Albany, IMD Switzerland, Olivetti Corporation and Corning Glass.
Don authored many papers and co-authored several books related to accounting principles, management practices and finance.
Actively committed to the larger community, Don was involved in the Albany-Tula Russia Alliance, Rotary, Albany Symphony and Living Resources. While at Living Resources he held numerous positions on the Board of Directors.
Don was a much loved, and respected Dean, manager, leader and friend who demonstrated perhaps the most important quality of excellent managers; he always supported his faculty giving credit to them for their successes rather than taking credit for himself.
As the former University at Albany President, Patrick Swygert said in summing up this quality: “Don was always content to shine the light of success on his faculty and to be content to bathe in the reflected glow of their success”.
Don and Jeanne traveled often during their 40 years of marriage. Some of their favorite adventures included Spain, France, Scotland, Italy and Maui where they were fortunate to see the green flash. They most often enjoyed their time together watching Lawrence Welk and Jeopardy.
Don is survived by his beloved wife and forever sweetheart Jeanne, his sons Bruce (Helen, deceased), Bryan (Jean), daughters Leah and Sarah (Graham). Grandchildren Taylor, Courtney (Jay), McKenzie, Tucker (Mike), Morgan, Elise and Grant. He is also survived by his great granddaughter Nora. He was predeceased by his brother Joseph.
In lieu of flowers and to honor Don, contributions may be made to The Dean Donald Bourque Memorial Scholarship online at albany.edu/giving (note your gift is in memory of Dean Donald Bourque) or send a check by mail. Please make check payable to The UAlbany Foundation, note your gift is in memory of Dean Donald Bourque, and mail to 1400 Washington Avenue, UAB 226, Albany, NY 12222 or to the First United Methodist Church in Delmar NY.
We pray that eternal rest grant on to Don, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.
Arrangements are provided by the Applebee Funeral Home in Delmar, NY. Due to Covid, the family will be having a private service with a memorial planned at a later date.
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