February 01 2017
The Elmira College community was saddened to learn of the recent passing of Professor Emeritus Gerald C. Parkhouse, Corning Glass Professor of International Business. He was 85.
Throughout his 19-year career at Elmira, Professor Parkhouse was well-respected by colleagues and students alike. He is best remembered for the many Term III trips he led to the United Kingdom. An English native, Professor Parkhouse immersed students in the historical, political, and economic environment of his homeland while sharing over 30 years of management experience with a global oil corporation.
An alumnus of Oxford University, Professor Parkhouse was an expert rower and authored numerous books on the sport.
Following is a tribute to Professor Parkhouse from colleague, Alison M. Wolfe, Associate Professor, Business & Economics Division, Elmira College.
Emeritus Professor Gerald C. Parkhouse – a mentor, friend, management executive, professor, scholar, world traveler and proud alumnus of Christ Church, Oxford University – passed on January 24, 2017, nearly six months after his beloved wife Valerie Betty Parkhouse, who passed on July 5, 2016. He was a loving and devoted husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, and great-grandfather who was also dedicated to his work up until his passing. He epitomized the definition of “work ethic,” and was one of the most conscientious and hardworking individuals that any in the EC community had the fortunate opportunity to know.
While at Elmira College, Professor Parkhouse started the International Business specialization in Business Administration at Elmira College. He also started, more than 30 years ago, one of the first international educational Term III travel course opportunities for EC students, specifically focused on England. Prior to Professor Parkhouse’s retirement from the College, I was fortunate enough to travel with him to the United Kingdom, and, like many others, saw first-hand his character, integrity, dignity, and work ethic, as well as his impeccable knowledge, unparalleled kindness, and his sincere dedication to the U.K/international educational course. Both the students and I were in awe of his quick wit, photographic memory, enlightening lectures, vast knowledge, and unending patience and energy in and out of the classroom.
Professor Parkhouse was a beloved colleague, scholar, and dear friend to many. He consistently demonstrated the intellectual acumen to be successful at any endeavor, whether it be researching his past passion of rowing, playing the organ, enjoying his boat on the lake, dabbling in cooking (including what he believed to be the world’s best Beef Wellington and Christmas Fruitcake recipes), hosting friends at his home, leading and entertaining his fellow colleagues in the "12 days of Christmas" at the traditional holiday banquet, serving as head usher at Grace Episcopal Church, traveling to over 100 international destinations, and writing for Oxford or on his upcoming book.
On a personal note, he never was too busy to take the time each week to share tidbits of information that would be helpful in my life, from international news, travel tips, gourmet recipes, jokes, news clippings and general overall life. Professor Parkhouse was able to tackle any problem with ease, which was a testament to his nature of being a very process-oriented and analytical thinker. His wit, intellect, integrity, dedication, photographic memory, and impeccable British grace and style will never be forgotten. He was truly an influential mentor and an extraordinary friend.
I speak for myself, and all the students, colleagues and friends whose lives he impacted, to say that we were fortunate to have known Professor Parkhouse. We are incredibly grateful and appreciative for all that he has done for us, and for Elmira College. With his passing, I and many others have lost a beloved mentor, a true and loyal friend, an outstanding and incredibly knowledge colleague, and in a very real sense, a family member.
Professor Gerald Parkhouse, may you rest in peace … you will be sorely missed. And to the Parkhouse family, please accept our heartfelt condolences. He was truly a great man and an inspiration to many.
--- Alison M. Wolfe, Associate Professor, Business & Economics Division, Elmira College