Gaylord A. Jentz was a wonderful classroom teacher who taught a wide variety of courses and gave seminars in purchasing law and banking law all over the United States–often for free. He earned awards such as the CBA Foundation Award for Excellence in Education, the Jack G. Taylor Award for Excellence in Teaching, the prestigious Civitatis Award for service, the Joe D. Beasley Teaching Excellence Award, and his discipline’s most prestigious award, the Faculty Award for Excellence.
Jentz attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where his education was interrupted so that he could serve in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict. Despite that interruption, Professor Jentz earned his B.A., M.B.A., and J.D. degrees. He began his teaching career at the University of Oklahoma in 1958, where he taught business law. He moved to The University of Texas in 1965 and taught here until 1998 when he retired.
Professor Jentz authored or co-authored approximately sixty editions of the best and most popular business law textbooks in the country. He played a major role in turning the University’s business school into a modern research institution. As long-time chair of the general business department (now known as the Information, Risk, and Operations Management [IROM] department), Jentz established some of the best groups in the country in quantitative fields such as statistics, management science, and information systems. Notably, he was responsible for developing his own program in business law into what is widely regarded as one of the nation’s top programs of its kind.
Professor Jentz served on virtually every important committee and governing body at the business school and University levels. His significant contributions to the UT business school gained him admission to its “Hall of Fame,” an honor bestowed upon few faculty members. Over the years, Jentz served in a number of important positions at the Academy of Legal Studies in Business (ALSB), including president. He was a stage presence whose wisdom and common sense were widely recognized. Professor Jentz was simply one of the friendliest, most supportive, most generous people that anyone could ever meet. He continued until the day of his death to serve UT, the McCombs School of Business, and his discipline in a variety of capacities. He was universally beloved by his students and colleagues at The University of Texas, his associates in the Austin community, and by his peers across the nation.