In Remembrance: L. Emil Kreider, Professor Emeritus of Economics
Professor Kreider joined the Beloit faculty in 1970 and held the Allen-Bradley Chair in Economics when he retired in 2006. He earned respect for matching tough grading with great teaching and an enduring interest in his students’ well-being. His droll sense of humor also endeared him to many Beloiters. Alumni recall him telling a joke of the day and serving hot mugs of the powdered drink Tang in early morning economics classes.
His research included labor economics and Latin American development. During sabbaticals, he often worked on business projects and private consulting and brought those experiences back to his teaching. He worked on several projects in Latin America, including as a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) contractor.
Kreider was a leader among Beloit faculty, chairing the economics department, participating extensively in faculty governance, and stepping in to serve as acting vice president for academic affairs for a term.
He earned his undergraduate degree from Bethel College and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Ohio State University.
Over his entire Beloit tenure, he was a regular on the college’s lively noon ball (basketball) team and volunteered at home football games.
“Everyone regarded Emil with the greatest esteem,” says Professor of Economics Bob Elder. “His exemplary academic citizenship extended from one end of Chapin Street (the campus) to the other (Strong Stadium), where on Saturday afternoons he served on the chain gang at home football games. Asked why he was the person who worked the down marker, Emil would humbly reply, ‘I’m the one who knows how to count to four.’”
His family said he retained his “sense of humor, thoughtfulness, and selflessness to the end.”
At the time of this writing, plans were underway to honor Professor Kreider at Econ Day, an annual event hosted by the economics department in Chicago, scheduled for Feb. 18.
Survivors include his wife, Louise, three sons, and six grandchildren.