Hans J. Baer graduated from Lehigh in 1947 with a B.S. in industrial engineering. In 1950, he received his M.A. in economics from New York University. He was a Christ Church Visiting Fellow at Oxford University and a Visiting Fellow for the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard. In 1997, he received an honorary degree from Lehigh. At Lehigh, Baer was secretary and president of Pi Lambda Phi, editor-in-chief of the Brown & White, president of Cyanide, president of Pi Delta Epsilon, treasurer of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and a member of Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.
Baer became partner in his grandfather’s private Zurich bank in 1958, rising to Managing Director, President of the Management Committee, Chairman of Baer Holding Ltd. and Chairman of Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd., Zurich, which went public in 1974. Bank Julius Baer is engaged in domestic and international banking and global asset management.
Baer was an honorary trustee and a member of the Asa Packer Society. He was founding chair of the Global Council and on the National Leadership Committee. In 1997, Baer established the Hans J. Baer International Scholarship Fund for an international undergraduate, with a preference for students from Europe. In 2000, Baer established the Hans J. Baer ’47 Endowed Chair in International Finance, now held by Professor Nandu Nayar. In 2004, Baer was the lead donor for the Baer International Centre, located in Coxe Hall. Named in his honor, the Baer International Centre brings services to students from around the world under one roof.
Baer passed away March 21, 2011. He was married to the late Ilse Baer and is survived by a son and a daughter.