In Memoriam

Mel Bacharach, BS 48, Levi Strauss Executive & Philanthropist

Mel Bacharach, BS 48, Levi Strauss Executive & Philanthropist

Melvin Lewis Bacharach, a former executive vice president and a longtime board member of Levi Strauss & Co. and UC Berkeley supporter, passed away on August 19 at age 93.

Bacharach rose to prominence at Levi’s beginning with his introduction of permanent press apparel to the world. He was also instrumental in opening the doors of Eastern Europe to U.S. trade during the Cold War era and considered the crowning achievement of his career convincing then-communist Hungary to build a plant, solidifying Levis as an international brand and breaking down trade barriers that existed through the 1970s and 1980s.

After retiring from Levi’s, Bacharach, a veteran of both WWII and the Korean War, went on to establish a venture capital company, International Business Sponsors. He also started and built several other companies, including VMB, Inc.; Diamond View, LP; and Au Bear Properties.

In retirement, Bacharach put significant effort into UC Berkeley. He served on the Board of Trustees for the University of California Foundation and also as president of the Bear Backers. Bacharach gave generously to Berkeley Haas and to the Athletic Department. Many of his gifts—an improved wheelchair ramp at Haas, access and seating for Memorial Stadium, and an elevator and walkway at Haas Pavilion—assisted people with mobility challenges in honor of his wife, Vera, a Berkeley alumna who passed away in 1995. Mel and Vera met at UC Berkeley and were happily married for 45 years.

Bacharach is survived by two children, six grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and his longtime partner, Sandra Bacharach.

Haas Accounting Professor Alan Cerf, BS 44

Haas Accounting Professor Alan Cerf, BS 44

Accounting Prof. Alan Robert Cerf, who taught more than 13,000 students over 62 years at Berkeley Haas, died August 24 of natural causes at his home in Piedmont, Calif. He was 93.

Cerf earned his BS when Berkeley’s business school was called the College of Commerce and began his academic career at the university in 1956. His research focused mainly on taxation and auditing. Over the course of his Berkeley Haas career, he held prestigious positions and received several key honors. He served as chairman of the school’s Accounting Group from 1978 to 1982. Cerf was the first director of UC Berkeley’s San Francisco MBA Program, staffed by business school faculty, and the first director of the evening MBA. In 1984, he received the Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching and Research from the California CPA Foundation. In April 2011, he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for distinguished contributions to the Haas accounting program.

A strong believer that exercise was a key to a long, healthy life, Cerf was known for assigning a student to lead his classes in a quick round of calisthenics. It was that enthusiasm, energy, and enjoyment for teaching that impressed both students and faculty.

Cerf served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the war, he returned to Harvard, where he earned his MBA in 1947. He then worked at an accounting firm and later at his father’s haberdashery. He received his PhD in economics from Stanford University in 1952.

Cerf is survived by his wife of nearly 66 years, Lila Spitzer Cerf; sons Robert, Douglas, Jeffery, and Richard; daughter, Nancy; 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.


Paul S. Otellini, MBA 74

EDITOR’S NOTE: At press time, we were saddened to learn of the passing of Paul S. Otellini, MBA 74. Otellini, the former CEO of Intel, died in his sleep on Oct. 2. He was 66.

Otellini led Intel for eight years, beginning in 2005, the first non-engineer to do so. During his tenure, Intel generated more revenue than it did during the company’s previous 45 years. Earlier in Otellini’s career, he led the introduction of the Pentium processor for Intel. A former member of the Haas School Board, Otellini was named Berkeley Haas’ Business Leader of the Year in 2006.

Find a comprehensive obituary in the spring issue and on our news site.


Jeanne Lew passed away in June due to complications from surgery. Julien Brain, MBA 15, Palo Alto, Calif., writes, “Saddened and inspired leaving the memorial service for our dedicated and passionate career coach Jeanne Lew with her family, friends, and Haas community in San Francisco. Her compassion, humor, and joie de vivre (particularly since she loved Paris) will be top of mind with Haas alumni as we mentor new classes.”

Barbara Wallace, BS 44
Gerald Crane, BS 45
Ronald Berryhill, BS 47
Melvin Bacharach, BS 48
Robert Hawes, BS 48
Fern Katte, BS 48
Thomas Peek, BS 48
Howard M. Garrett, BS 49
Edwin Lee, BS 49
Edward Magnoli, BS 49
Robert Nicol, BS 49
William Flause, BS 50
Robert Gilbert, BS 50, MBA 52
John Marconi, BS 50
Catharine Rising, BS 50
Rushton Backer, BS 51
Leroy Wigginton, BS 51
George Nolan, BS 52
Lawrence Peterson, BS 52
Herbert Miller, BS 54
William Tubbs, BS 56
Lewis Demuth, BS 58
Wendell Payne, BS 58
Dieter Winkler, BS 61
Paul Speer, BS 62
Michael Scranton, BS 63
David Rubardt, BS 66
Robert Sternfels, BS 67
Gerald Berger, MBA 67
Jonathan Penn, MBA 67
Richard Baker, MBA 69
Philip Chew, BS 72
Winnie Wing-Kei Tso-Curé, BS 84
Winnie Yu, BS 91
Michael Kan, MBA 97
Lavanya Reddy, BCEMBA 05
William Johnson, Friend
Juan Samper, Friend

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