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SMG’s Hayden Estrada Dies

Assistant dean of graduate admissions, 51, remembered for his humor, professionalism


Hayden Estrada, SMG assistant dean of graduate admissions, once said he looked for applicants “who have passion and fire in their bellies.” Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

Hayden Estrada, 51, assistant dean of graduate admissions at the School of Management, died Tuesday evening after a brief illness.

“We have lost a very important member of our school leadership and community,” says Kenneth Freeman, SMG’s Allen Questrom Professor and Dean. “Hayden’s strategic thinking, his values, and his positive attitude were invaluable to our mission.“

Freeman says Estrada enhanced SMG’s graduate programs by “bringing ever more accomplished students” to the University.

Others remember Estrada not just as a colleague, but as a friend. John Chalykoff, SMG associate dean, says Estrada “was a beloved man in the halls of the School of Management—a professional, a friend, a self-deprecating person who was young at heart, with a broad sense of humor.” Chalykoff recalls Estrada’s infectious laugh and his smile. He praises him as “an advocate for high achievement and diversity in the classes he admitted.”

Estrada, who is credited with working closely with MBA applicants to make sure that each student was a good fit, once said he looked for applicants “who have passion and fire in their bellies.” He encouraged prospective students to write about “what makes them different from other applicants, from a very personal point of view,” in their admission essays.

“One of his particularly important admissions initiatives,” says Chalykoff, “was an enhanced level of personal communications with applicants.”

Before coming to BU in 2004 as assistant dean of graduate admissions, Estrada was director of academic consulting at Productivity Management, a technology and consulting firm based in South Bend, Ind. Previously, he was director of MBA admissions at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, and Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Business.

After earning a BS in management from Johnson & Wales, where he graduated summa cum laude, Estrada received an MBA from Babson College. At the time of his death, he was vice president, education, for the National Society of Hispanic MBAs.

Information about a memorial service will be published here when it becomes available.

John O’Rourke can be reached at orourkej@bu.edu.


One Comment on SMG’s Hayden Estrada Dies

  • Anonymous on 10.14.2010 at 12:18 pm

    As a working professional looking to pursue my MBA in an evening program, I had my heart set on attending Boston College. However, after meeting Hayden Estrada in March of ’08 I quickly changed my mind. His personality and professionalism really inspired me. I am sad to say that I had not spoken to him in some time, but our unspoken mutual agreement to always strive for excellence in the classroom and throughout the community is something that will stay with me long after graduation. It is a sad day for the BU community, but his spirit lives on in all of us.

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