In his mid-20s, Leland “Lee” Lahr helped launch and run a firm that grew in four years to claim 40 percent of a major market in the Midwest. Selling to business owners taught him the importance of preparing individuals to go into business before they actually open the doors of their companies. He switched careers and moved into academia at Lawrence Technological University, where he could help his students understand what it takes to run a company effectively.
For over 30 years, Lahr helped hundreds of students at Lawrence Tech prepare to start their own companies and thrive in the business world. He published a book on the subject, Minding Your Own Business: Prepare to Run One, in 2011.
Lahr began his long career at LTU as an instructor in the School of Business and Industrial Management, later the College of Management, in 1964. In 1970, he became dean of the college, succeeding Edwin O. Graeffe upon his retirement. Lahr served until 1979, when he returned to teaching.
Lahr specialized in teaching marketing and management and initiated an entrepreneurship and small business program in the college. Starting as a series of seminars in 1974, the program was expanded into a number of courses in 1979.
Lahr “retired” and was named professor emeritus of management in 1995. He continued to serve the College of Management in a variety of roles. In 2005, the college presented him a certificate of appreciation “in recognition of 41 years of distinguished service to Lawrence Technological University, to higher education, and to the growth and development of leaders. As a professor, dean, and ambassador for the College of Management, your innovations, wise counsel, enthusiasm, and steadfast dedication to excellence have inspired all who know you.”