Hofstra’s first dean of the School of Business, Harold Louis Wattel passed away on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 95 years old. Dr. Wattel began working with the faculty in 1947 when he chaired the economic department and helped establish the original school of business.
He continued to work at the university for 40 years. The Brooklyn native brought many years of experience with him to the university after enlisting in the Navy and serving on the USS Massachusetts in the South Pacific and getting a master’s degree at Columbia University and then a Ph.D. from the New School for Social Research.
According to his daughter, Karen Arenson, he was a recipient of many awards including the Distinguished Service Award from the university as well as the status Professor Emeritus of Economics in 1986. Dr. Wattel was a well-rounded administrator whom Hofstra was proud to have recruited. He participated in many nonprofits, including the New York State Cooperative Extension Service, the New York State Lung Association and IPRO, which focused on health care improvement and evaluation. Dr. Wattel taught at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics in the 1980s, and worked with many businesses in the New York City area.
Wattel’s legacy lives on as Hofstra’s business school gained national recognition and attracts students from all over the world. He is survived by his children, Arenson and Jill Stockinger, grandchildren, Morgan Arenson and Kaolin Fire, and great grandchildren Fenris Asher Fire and Phoenix Zephyr Fire.
Herman Berliner, the current dean of the Frank G. Zarb School of Business, worked as an economics professor while Wattel was the dean. “Dr. Wattel had a major impact on the development of the School of Business at Hofstra,” he said.
A lover of art, poetry, books, travel and people, Wattel was a widely respected and admired member of the Hofstra community.