OHS Distinguished Alumni
As one of four Distinguished Alumni Award winners, The late Carl L. Henn could be Oakwood Schools’ ambassador – a multiple career man who contributed to the greater good on many levels; who led and served with the very best. His realization of our schools’ mission makes him an obvious recipient of the Distinguished Alumni award and one of Oakwood Schools’ finest.
Carl L. Henn, Jr. was born in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Oakwood High School in 1941. He went on to college at Northwestern University where he was his fraternity and class president. It was here that, upon returning from a stint as a waiter at a sorority function on December 7, 1941, that he learned of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1943, he enrolled in Northwestern’s Navy V-12 program, and then transferred to Harvard University’s Midshipman-Officer program. While he ended up earning his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Northwestern, he also furthered his education at Harvard’s Graduate School of Business, where he earned his MBA; and at George Washington University, earning a master’s degree in international economic relations.
During his twenty-seven years in the Navy, Henn succeeded in being promoted to Captain, as well as being assigned to many projects; including industrial training programs; the Berlin Airlift; studies for the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts; development of new Navy air cargo procedures, and more. His continued involvement and excellence in logistics led to further recognition, and he finished his naval career as an instructor in management, economics and international affairs at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, retiring with the honor of the Navy Commendation Medal.
After his retirement from the Navy in 1970, Henn worked 20 years in private industry. The first of such positions was as a strategic planner in American Standard’s corporate headquarters, then as assistant vice president and certified financial planner at Shearson Lehman Hutton. His last private industry position was as senior vice president at Royal Capital, an oil and gas investment banking firm.
In what were termed his “Give-Back Years” in an article by Time Magazine, he put his lifelong learning to work – sharing the knowledge he had accumulated from the military-industrial complex to help others understand that life on our planet is a complex web of interrelated and interdependent systems. His goal was to help others in business make this connection, and in doing so – “change the way we make decisions” which in turn, “will change the decisions we make”.
Reenergized with his educational epiphany, he brought together people from industry, government and education to engage in knowledge-sharing and integration into their practices.
His environmental protection efforts included publishing articles in professional journals and textbooks; teaching industrial and business ecology classes; even taking his knowledge to those in K-12 classrooms throughout New Jersey, where he lived. In total, he logged over 25,000 hours of volunteer work, and was recognized in an article in Time Magazine (December 14, 1998) titled, “The Sage of New Jersey Spreads a Green Gospel”.
Henn’s goal of protecting our environment – before the days of being “green” were so popular and in fashion – has become a hot button issue today, one that everyone is now buying into, 10 years later. While he may have encountered skepticism, his leadership and authority made his message stick. Carl L. Henn, Jr. was a man before his time. A man who had a vision and saw to it that all of his experiences would go into creating something of meaning for himself, and in turn, something of meaning for everyone.
OJHS new student registration Aug. 7 - 19
The Oakwood Jr. High Office will be open for new student registration weekdays, from Aug. 7 until Aug. 19 from 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. Please bring a copy of your child’s birth certificate, immunization record, and a copy of your purchase or rental contract to the Oakwood Junior High Office at 1200 Far Hills Ave. If you would like a registration packet mailed to you or if you have any questions, please call Dawne Roeckner at (937) 297-5328.