Bowersox was professor emeritus of marketing and supply chain management and served as dean of the Broad College from 2001-02.
He dedicated more than 40 years to Michigan State University, and is largely responsible for the stature that the Broad College has in the field of supply chain management. U.S. News and World Report currently ranks the Broad College’s supply chain management program No. 2 behind only the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s program.
Bowersox received three degrees from MSU – a bachelor’s in 1954, an MBA in 1958 and a doctorate in 1960. Prior to his 1966 appointment on the faculty at MSU, Bowersox was an Air Force pilot and in executive management for the E.F. MacDonald (Plaid) Stamp Co. He was appointed as the John H. McConnell Chair in Business Administration in 1985 in recognition of his contributions to academia, industry and the community. In 2002, he was honored with the Broad College’s first Lifetime Alumni Achievement Award.
Throughout his career, Bowersox wrote 10 textbooks that have been translated into 15 languages. He co-authored such works as the fourth edition of the textbook “Supply Chain Logistics Management” and “Physical Distribution Management: Logistics Problems of the Firm,” which is said to be the industry’s first logistics textbook.
He also authored more than 250 articles on marketing, transportation and logistics. He was a member of the editorial review board of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Quarterly, Journal of Business Logistics, International Journal of Logistics Management,, the Journal of Supply Chain Management andSupply Chain Management Review.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be sent to support the Donald J. Bowersox Endowed Chair in Logistics and Supply Chain Management Fund, 300 Spartan Way, East Lansing, MI 48824.