SJU pays tribute to long-time professor

Faculty, administrators, and students paid tribute to Dr. John. W. Dobbins Jr., chairman and associate professor of Marketing in Tobin College of Business.
Dobbins died on March 19 from long-term cancer.

A funeral mass was held on Monday March 24 at 11 a.m. in the Thomas More Church.

Reverend James Maher, who presided over the mass, said during the service, “All of us who had the blessing and opportunity to interact with him saw [his] love of life flourish deeper… those who came to [know] John, they knew his love of life. He loved the single pleasures of life-family, good meals with friends, and family… he loved his life.”

According to Accounting Professor Thomas Boyd, Dobbins was a very friendly co-worker.

He recalled a day in 2006 when Dobbins was hosting a Career Day for 200 high school students at St. John’s.

Boyd explained, “His contribution to the day was to introduce the students to the possibilities in a career in Marketing. His infectious personality soon had the students enthralled. As they left the room, he handed each one his card and told them they could call him at any time if they wanted to talk about a career in Marketing. They loved him!”

Earning a B.B.A from Manhattan College, M.B.A. from Baruch and Ph. D. from New York University, Dobbins was a business and educational consultant to various organizations.

He provided training assistance and consulting services to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Vilnius Business Advisory Council, Open Society Fund-Lithuania and many more organizations.
During his time at St. John’s, Dobbins helped to establish the International Business School in the University of Lithuania.

According to St. John’s Central, Dr. Dobbins created “the first school to be established in Lithuania that was based on a free market economic system.”

However, perhaps his most prized accomplishment was teaching marketing to Prince Khalid, son of Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, which at the time was world’s fifth wealthiest man.
Dr. Dobbins was very influential during his 25 years at St. John’s.

He became Associate Dean of Tobin College of Business where he was instrumental in the establishment of the St. John’s University Graduate Center in Rome, Italy, according to St. John’s Central.

For several years, he taught in the MBA program in Rome as a faculty member.

In an Oct. 24 Torch article about his life, Dobbins said, “The thought of not coming to St. John’s never entered my head. This is my family. If you wanted me to identify my best friends and family, outside my immediate family, this is it right here. I couldn’t be in a more loving environment than at St. Johns. No way.”

He is survived by his three brothers, his only grandchild, and his nieces and nephews.