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John M. Wynne

Former Sloan School of Management Vice President John M. Wynne SM ’56 died of Parkinson’s disease last Tuesday at his winter home in Casa de Campo resort, La Romana, the Dominican Republic. He was 81 years old.

“John Wynne’s exceptional accomplishments during his years at MIT were marked by his quiet professionalism, a deep loyalty to the Institute and his colleagues, and a gentle sense of fairness in his relations with others,” said President Emeritus Howard W. Johnson. “With it all, he had a great sense of humor and a steady unflappability under stress.”

Wynne served as a vice president of MIT under Presidents Johnson and Jerome B. Wiesner from 1967 to 1980. He earned a Master’s degree in industrial management from MIT Sloan School in 1956. He returned as director of the executive development programs at the School of Management in 1958 and served as an associate dean at Sloan from 1961 to 1967, when he was named vice president, organization systems. He worked as vice president, administration and personnel, from 1970 until he retired in 1980.

Following his retirement, Wynne continued to be active at MIT and in higher education. As vice president emeritus, he consulted on matters including redrafting MIT’s Policies and Procedures Manual.

In 1983, he was appointed to the board of trustees of Maharishi University of Management (MUM) in Fairfield, Iowa. He and his son Robert, MUM’s vice president of expansion, contributed to the development of the institution's MBA and PhD programs in management.

Wynne visited India in 1987 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta and was honored as the founding director of the Institute’s post-graduate diploma in management program. In 1993 he was appointed to the board of trustees of Maharishi Institute of Management in India which, in collaboration with MUM in Iowa, offers an MBA program in five Indian cities.

Born in Salina, Kan., on June 14, 1920, Wynne earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1940 from the University of Kansas and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honorary society. He began his graduate studies at Stanford University, but they were interrupted by World War II. Wynne served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy on destroyers in the Atlantic Fleet and aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Intrepid. He was a major in the U.S. Air Force in 1951-52 during the Korean War. Afterward, he worked for the Air Force as a civilian in Sacramento, Calif., and lectured in industrial management at Sacramento State College.

He is survived by his wife, Helen (Gurley), of Magnolia and Casa de Campo; two sons, Robert G. Wynne of Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa, and John Wynne Jr. of Boston; two sisters, Dorothy Zimmerman and Gwen Tilley, both of Lincoln, Neb.; a brother, Robert B. of Boston; a daughter-in-law, Maureen of Maharishi Vedic City; and a brother-in-law, Don Tilley of Lincoln.

Donations in his memory may be made to the John M. Wynne Education Fund (which supports education for Dominican children), 18 Ocean Highlands, Magnolia, Mass. 01930. A memorial service will be scheduled at MIT.