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New award honors legacy of marketing education giant

Friday, August 13, 2021

Frank Bass

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A third-year marketing doctoral student at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management has received the inaugural award created to honor one of the most influential professors in the field of marketing.

Siyun Lu was presented the Frank M. Bass Scholar Award. With research interests including machine learning, marketing resource allocation and discrete choice models, Lu has excelled in the classroom and has successfully completed her marketing prelim exam. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, and worked as a research assistant at the university’s business school.

Frank Bass served on the Krannert faculty from 1961-81, earning designation in 1974 as the Loeb Distinguished Professor of Management. He served as editor of the Journal of Marketing Research, a preeminent journal in marketing, and served as president of the Institute of Management Sciences. He later co-founded Marketing Science, arguably the most prestigious quantitative marketing journal in the field today.

A true pioneer in marketing science research, he developed the Bass Model, a marketing model tracking the sale of durable goods that was pivotal in establishing marketing as a quantitative science. Bass, who passed away in 2006, won numerous awards for his research, including the William F. O’Dell Award in 1979 from the American Marketing Association, the Paul D. Converse Award in 1986, the Gilbert A. Churchill Jr. Award in 2002, and the Charles Coolidge Parlin Award for Outstanding Contributions to Marketing Research in 2003.

Equally as important as his own work was his ability to develop research scholars. Bass chaired 58 PhD student dissertations during his career, including 30 who received their doctorates from Purdue. They learned much of their craft in “Bass’s Basement,” where he held doctoral seminars in his home near campus. As a result, many of his former students funded the Bass Scholar Award, with an aim of maintaining Krannert’s long tradition of leadership in doctoral marketing education.

“What was most notable about Professor Bass was his passion and enthusiasm for research. He was an innovator. He enjoyed pursuing research on topical subjects in collaboration with his doctoral students,” says Manohar Kalwani, OneAmerica Professor of Management.

“He had a profound impact in the marketing science field and his legacy is immense. When you combine his PhD students and their PhD students, more than 215 marketing scientists can trace their roots back to his ground-breaking research. Siyun is one of the top students we’ve had in our program in the past decade, and we’re pleased to honor her with this first award.”

The annual award, which can be given to an outstanding incoming student or can provide support for a distinguished student in the Krannert doctoral marketing programs, is for $5,000.