Knowing Dr. Blanning for these past 2 1/2 years, the care management team at Life-Links enjoyed his flexibility, sense of humor and humility. He was a kind person we were honored to know. Dr. B, we hope you are driving a Lamborghini through the streets of Hong Kong drinking a cappuccino!
Bob was a great colleague and one of the first people I met when joining Vanderbilt as an Asst Professor. Always great advice with a bit of cynicism. He was always around to help and was really the friend of the dispossessed younger faculty. I travelled a bit with Bob. I took him on his first trip to China from HK and also to Vietnam (where his Hawaiian shirts seemed like a bullseye to the hawkers). I also took him to Estonia when it first opened (where we had to walk from the airport since there were no taxis!). He will be missed.
Bob was one of the first people I met when moving to Vanderbilt as an Assistant Professor. Kind and generous, fun and hard working. Always gave good advice. Bob loved to travel and I took him on his first trip to China and also to Vietnam (where I took him to the first Miss Vietnam pageant -- if you can imaging that). He will be missed as he was a great friend.
Timothy Devinney (Sydney & Berlin)
Bob was my best friend and colleague at Owen, a wonderful, hilarious, creative, joyous, brilliant, caring, and most positive soul. One of his greatest joys was seeing students both succeed and appreciate the process and excitement of learning. In 1998 and 1999 Bob and I conducted research that showed most Americans planned to withdraw most or all of their funds from banks and investment houses due to the Y2K scare, which could lead to an economic collapse. Our response was to teach more than 800 banks to turn the situation into a major marketing success—and it worked! That was Bob, always seeing problems as challenges that create opportunities. He was and in my heart is one of the finest individuals I have known, bringing honor and goodness and truth and trust and happiness to all he met. He defines the very best qualities of his chosen role of Professor. He was my buddy, my colleague, my mentor, and, most important, my friend. All who of us who knew him will celebrate his life forever.
Bob was a professor Emeritus at the Owen School of Management, Vanderbilt University. He had a long an illustrious academic career. He was dedicated to his students, his colleagues and the institution. He came to the Owen School in 1980 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His previous positions included the College of Business and Public Administration and Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the National University of Singapore. Before his academic roles, Bob served as an operations research analyst for the Mobil Oil Corporation and as a nuclear engineer at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory of the General Electric Company. He became an Emeritus Professor in 2011.