In June 2022, the AIB Fellows added a clause to their constitution, creating the AIB Fellows Distinguished Service Award. The purpose of the new award is to recognize, when appropriate, one of the AIB Fellows for their extraordinary service over a sustained period to the Fellows and to the AIB. The individual must be nominated by the current dean and two of more former deans of the Fellows and receive a majority vote of the Active Fellows.

AIB Fellows Distinguished Service AwardThe inaugural award has been given posthumously to Jean J. Boddewyn, Professor Emeritus of International Business at Baruch College. Boddewyn was an Active AIB Fellow, literally and figuratively, until his death on January 10, 2022 at the age of 92.

He was jointly nominated for the new award by the seven living deans of the AIB Fellows who proposed the new award in recognition of his many contributions to the AIB Fellows and AIB.

Jean Boddewyn was perhaps the “founding father” of the AIB Fellows. It was his idea during his term as AIB Vice President Program (1975-76) that the AIB Executive Board create the AIB Fellows to recognize high performing scholars, researchers and administrators. He drafted the constitutional amendment, which was approved by the AIB Board and came into effect after a vote of all AIB members in 1976.

Boddewyn joined AIB in the 1960s and served as AIB President (1992-94) and Dean of the Fellows (2005-2008). He also chaired or served on numerous AIB committees and special projects over the years; for example, he was involved in the writing and updating of both the AIB and AIB Fellows constitutions.

Boddewyn was active in finding talented scholars worldwide whom he would invite to join the AIB, estimating that he had sponsored perhaps two dozen new members. He felt this was an important role which would perpetuate the AIB for the future. Over the years, Boddewyn also nominated 14 AIB Fellows and provided supporting letters for several others.

Boddewyn assumed the role of informal historian for the AIB Fellows for many years, noting members’ promotions, transfers, publications, retirements and deaths. He wrote the Fellows’ first history, “History of the AIB Fellows: 1975-2008, which he continued to update through 2018.  He also wrote occasionally about AIB events (e.g., “The Most Exotic AIB Conference of the 20th Century” (AIB Insights, 2.2, 2002).

In August 2017, incoming President Lorraine Eden appointed Boddewyn as AIB’s first official Historian. Assisted by Lilac Nachum as Deputy Historian and the AIB Secretariat, Boddewyn took on the task of implementing the AIB History Project, which was a key part of AIB’s 60th anniversary celebrations. The History Project had two main components: (1) the preparation of a history of AIB, which was co-authored by Jean Boddewyn and James Goodnow, and (2) the collection, digitalization and creation of a history section of the AIB website.

Jean BoddewynPublished by AIB in 2020, “A Short History of the AIB” by Boddewyn and Goodnow” provides a detailed history of the first 60 years of AIB. At the 2018 AIB meetings in Minneapolis, Boddewyn and Goodnow gave a Fellows Café about AIB’s history and both were recognized by the AIB Executive Board with lifetime membership in the AIB.

The AIB History Project is now an important source of documents, videos, photographs, interviews and memorabilia, and continues to grow with additions by AIB members.

Boddewyn was not only a prolific scholar in his own right (see “A Bibliographic Analysis of the Scholarly Writings of Jean J. Boddewyn” (Harzing, 2022) and “Biography of Jean J. Boddewyn” (ISMO, 2010-2011)), he also encouraged the AIB Fellows to write together. Boddewyn came up with the idea and edited two books written by the AIB Fellows: International Business Scholarship: AIB Fellows on the First 50 Years and Beyond (Emerald Press, 2008) and Multidisciplinary Insights from New AIB Fellows (Emerald, 2014).

Over his long career as an AIB member, Jean Boddewyn made many contributions to the AIB Fellows and the AIB. In recognition of his contributions, the AIB Fellows have awarded him their first AIB Fellows Distinguished Service Award.

Written by Professor Lorraine Eden, Dean of the AIB Fellows
Photos by Marilyn Boddewyn