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April 28, 2015
Today I was recalling one of many lectures by Dr. Mandelstamm and decided to google him. I am sad to learn of his passing 1.5 years ago. I attended his Principles of Economics classes during '78-'79 in McBryde Auditorium at Va Tech. We came for his stories, and through those stories, he taught us economic lessons that we would remember for a life time. Tech was on the quarter calendar back then. After receiving two B's, I finally earned an A in the spring quarter, and like others who left messages here, in the summer of '79, I received the highly prized letter of congratulations from one of my favorite college professors.
I hope Al is enjoying all the gefilte fish balls in heaven - way past the point of diminishing returns.
April 18, 2015
just stumbled onto this when recounting a story about Alan teaching my class at Michigan State. He was the best. He and my high school geometry teacher were my all time favorites. I use what he taught me every day. He is missed.
April 01, 2015
Oh, I'm so sorry to hear of Dr. Mandelstamm's passing. So sorry.

I did well in his class, and was surprised when home between terms my mom said, "You got a letter from MSU Economics." I opened it and it was a signed letter from Dr. Mandelstamm praising me and saying I should consider a career in Economics. So nice of him. I went on to get a teaching degree in Phys Ed and later a Computer Science degree. But I still read and love Economics books, and attribute my love of it to Dr. Mandelstamm. I think of him often. His letter meant a lot to a shy freshman. And my mom too.
May God comfort you are your family Dr. Mandelstamm.
March 08, 2015
1978. It was an honor to be taught economics by Prof Mandelstamm, and get an A no less. He was a brilliant professor. May he rest in peace.
December 16, 2014
As others have noted, Professor Mandelstam's unique and engaging lecture style made a lasting impression on this then-young sophomore at MSU. His personality was so great that he managed to fill the spacious Wells Hall lecture room and drive the lesson home with wit and some Yiddish blended in. Those of us who had him teach is will never forget him or his lessons.
December 01, 2014
What? Al Mandelstamm is no longer with us? Oh, schlect!

I had the honor of setting up and playing the video tapes of Professor Mandelstamm in the Seventies. Evening shift at the campus closed TV studio. Lots of time to watch the class material. He was a brilliant stand-up who also happened to be an economist. Some of his phrases are still in my vocabulary: "No story today, kiddies!" "Friedmaniacs!" The list goes on. He's a loss to Economics, if only because he could take some of the pretension out of it.
October 13, 2014
I was so fortunate to have Handsome Al as my micro and macro economics professor while at Michigan State (1970). He was unequivocally a character and teacher that can not be forgotten. Rest in peace and forever remember no matter how schlect the world is a fine place
March 27, 2014
We were just discussing nodding off while doing tax returns, and I thought about my Econ professer back in 1971 who would sneak up on those who nodded off. So I decided to "Google him up" and found this.
I could have watched Professor Mandelstamm's lectures on closed circuit TV without leaving the warmth of my dorm, but we chose to walk the half mile through the Michigan winter, and get there early to be in the front rows. Forty three years ago, and memories of Handsome Al's lectures still lifts me up.
December 19, 2013
December 19, 2013
I took Dr. mandelstamm economics class at MSU in 1973.
of all the teachers I have had he would be in my top 5 of all time.
I always looked forward to his lectures and his interpretation of the
English language ( schlect ) for example. I still have his letter inviting me to meet with him after acing his class..... but he stated that he could do it that year because he was leaving for another school.... I often wonder if I would have chosen a different path if
I would of had his counsel ...... not that I am unhappy with my
proffession.... RIP Dr. Mandelstamm you will always be one of my
December 19, 2013
I had Dr. Mandelstamm for economics at Michigan State in 1967. His theatrics and sense of humor made him the only professor I remember to this day. And, I remember most of the economic theory he taught - it has served me well throughout my life. During one of his classes, a student fell asleep. Al stopped talking and put his finger to his lips in a Shhhh!, grabbed two big books, and made his way down the row in front of the kid. He then slammed the books together with an enormous BANG! Never saw anyone sleep in his class after that. Kid needed a change of underwear! I have thought of Al many times over the decades, and am sorry to hear of his passing.
October 01, 2013
I had the privilige to have Dr. Mandelstamm as my Principles of Economics instructor back in 1980-81 at Virginia Tech. He was a great professor and an incredible personality who kept his lectures interesting while passing his passion for economics onto his students. I remember hearing from other students a story that he graded so tough that if one received an A for his course, Dr. Mandelstamm would send the student a letter of congratulations, and an invite to meet with him about becoming an Econ major. I graduated from Tech in 1984, and have had a few accomplishments in my life. But one of which I'm proudest -- and which I'll always treasure -- is the letter that I received from Dr. Mandelstamm back in the spring of '81. Rest in peace, "Handsome Al."
September 19, 2013
Everyone knew Handsome Al....I even had a patient who, before telling me the reason for her visit (I am an MSW in Maryland)asked me if I was related to Allan..she saw my maiden name on my diploma!

I remember being in Michigan for his wedding to Marie...she was the love of his life. They were very special people.I loved them both.
September 19, 2013
Actually never had one of his classes, although I was the guy up in whit 300 doing the video work. Learned more from that work than I did in my actual classes. Rest in Peace Handsome Al.
September 19, 2013
Handsome Al was the greatest! I will never forget how he taught and entertained us in Economics class in McBryde in 1974.
September 18, 2013
It has been 21 years since I graduated from VT and sadly I've forgotten the majority of my professors, but I will never forget "Handsome Al". His Econ classes were funny, challenging, and the two hardest earned A-minuses I ever made. I would often go to class, then come back and watch his lecture again on cable because it was so entertaining. He was truly one of a kind and a gifted teacher. Rest in peace.
September 18, 2013
I have never learned so much while being entertained so well. I will never forget Handsome Al.
September 17, 2013
He was the quintessential professor and scholar, and a teacher par excellence. He was a 2nd father to me. I will miss him deeply.
September 17, 2013
What an incredible professor! I signed up for his classes at least three times and tried to force add to no avail. So I went with friends to his classes for no credit but to be truly educated! May peace be with you.
September 17, 2013
Al and Marie were dear friends over many years. They had also made very significant contributions to our community, Marie as doctor (Radford Health Service, later emergency rooms), and Al as teacher and very active member of the Virginia Tech faculty. He played a major role in getting VT a Phi Beta Kappa chapter during the Marshall Hahn era. He was for many years advisor to a fraternity, so appreciated that just a couple of years ago he was presented with a reminder of that service signed by many of the current and former members. Al chaired a committee on the role of the arts at VT, and the just-completed Center for the Arts might be seen as an ultimate, at last, result of that initative. He was long a member of the Senate Reconciliation Committee and was always a spokesman for intellectual quality.
Al was a truly exceptional, extraordinary teacher. He enjoyed acting the role of "Handsome Al", his chosen self-deprecatory persona - Al was apple- or pear-shaped and waged a largely unsuccessful lifelong battle against obesity.
A number of faculty from across the university sat in on Al's lectures because they were so famously informative. His showmanship might have misled some into underestimating the thought and effort Al put into his teaching. He knew that his style was not to everyone's taste and always insisted that a separate section of the course, taught by someone else, be available for those people. He used humor and stories carefully designed to make the material palatable and understandable, but he also kept to high expectations of the students and his exams and grading were quite tough. With such large classes, he needed graduate assistants, and several have expressed to me over the years great appreciation for what they learned through being Al's apprentices. I also know of many former students who went out of their way to get in touch with Al after years or even decades, because they never forgot the inspiration and education that he had provided them.
Al's retirement left a great chasm in undergraduate teaching of economics that has really never been filled.
September 17, 2013
I only knew allan for a month but he sure made a big impression on my heart so sorry for your loss and ill be praying for you. RIP al
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