May 10, 2020

Passings: Remembering Patrick F. Cadigan and Jonathan Jaffee, who embodied Drucker values

DOING GOOD WHILE DOING WELL: Philanthropy and social impact characterized the work of Drucker School alumnus Patrick F. Cadigan, who passed away in April. (Photo courtesy of Boston College)

When Peter Drucker considered the value of any company, he always saw its people as an asset, not a liability.

People, he wrote in countless books and essays, are the most valuable resources that any organization has, and their loss has an impact that goes far beyond any measurable price.

This spring, the Drucker School of Management mourns such a loss as it says goodbye to two members of its community: alumnus Patrick F. Cadigan (MA, Management, ’78; PhD, Management, ’80) and Professor Jonathan Jaffee.

Cadigan and Jaffee’s lives embodied the spirit and principles of Peter Drucker

Cadigan, a private real estate investor and former tech company CEO who credited his Jesuit education for his work ethic and success, passed away in April at the age of 85.

Jaffee, a gifted lawyer who taught business litigation for many years at the Drucker School, also passed away in April after battling multiple myeloma.

For Drucker School Dean Jenny Darroch, each embodied the values and ethos of the management school’s founder.

“Mr. Cadigan’s brilliant business career demonstrated exactly what it means to effectively put Peter’s principles into action. Jonathan was a dear colleague and dedicated teacher with a human-centered focus who cared so much for his students,” she said. “Our Drucker community is a close-knit family. We feel each of these losses very deeply.”

Proud Product of a Jesuit Education

Born in Stoneham, Massachusetts, the proud son of Irish immigrants, Patrick Cadigan’s ethos and business sense formed around several defining educational influences.

One of those was Peter Drucker, who was in his first decade as a member of what would become the Drucker School of Management when Cadigan was a graduate student there.

Along with his studies at Boston College, Harvard, and Boston University, Cadigan took two degrees at CGU as he built one of the most successful private real estate investment businesses in Southern California.

Drucker himself, Cadigan proudly noted, had served as a member of Cadigan’s dissertation committee.

Before Drucker, another decisive influence were the Jesuits, who taught Cadigan as a student at Boston College High School and Boston College. And before them, Cadigan told a newspaper reporter that he credited his father—a cafe owner in Cambridge—with inspiring in him a desire to give back to the educational institutions that had given him so much.

“I’ve been very fortunate,” he told the Orange County Register about two major gifts to his alma maters, Boston College High School and Boston College. Then, with his characteristic humor: “I don’t need the money. What are you going to do, eat it?”

Cadigan is survived by his sisters, Angela and Eileen; three children, Ann, David and Maria; two grandchildren, Kaitlynn and Patrick; and three great-grandchildren, Angela, Aericka, and Aeriana. He is predeceased by his wife Barbara Ann.

Due to statewide quarantine restrictions, the family held a small private celebration of life mass last month at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church followed by his interment at Pacific View Memorial Park.

BRINGING OUT THE BEST IN PEOPLE: Professor Jonathan Jaffee pictured here with Drucker Dean Jenny Darroch at a Drucker Breakfast Club event.

Putting Students First

A former member of the faculties of the University of Southern California (Marshall School of Business) and Carnegie Mellon (Tepper School of Business) as well as being an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University (Graziadio School of Business), Jonathan Jaffee introduced many Drucker students to the intricacies of business litigation.

He was also an active member of the California Bar Association who practiced law in both Los Angeles and Baltimore, Maryland.

On the Drucker School’s social media, Jaffee was fondly remembered by many of his students and former colleagues as a deeply caring and thoughtful educator.

One post said: “I’m saddened by the loss, notably to his family and the Drucker community, and my condolences to family and friends. Jonathan was so incredibly down to earth. He had the spirit and insight of someone who had seen some things and had decided not to be brought down by them, but rather dedicated his life to understanding and helping others ‘get it’”.

Another honored him for being “incredibly generous and devoted to his students.”

In an announcement sent to Drucker community members, Darroch said that Jaffee’s ex-wife Amanda and their two children welcomed donations to any charity of their choosing as an expression of sympathy in Jaffee’s honor.

“To borrow a word used by one of my colleagues,” Darroch’s message said, “Jonathan was a jewel. A kind and positive individual who always brought out the best in everyone he met.”