Fayetteville, North Carolina: Dr. Sid Gautam, a professor of economics at Methodist University where he founded and led its Center for Entrepreneurship, passed away on April 28, 2016 at his home town Fayetteville, North Carolina. He had spent his life striving to meet higher expectations, both in his personal life and in his 44-year career at Methodist University where he created programs and awards recognizing local businesspeople and boosting the community’s sense of itself. Dr. Gautam was 74.
In recent years, Dr. Gautam had turned some of his considerable energies to promoting healthy living. About 2010, he began hosting free monthly programs at Kiwanis Recreation Center where people could learn and practice simple yoga moves and attend seminars on various health issues. Dubbed Happiness Yoga, the program drew its name from Dr. Gautam’s belief in the connection between happiness and health.
Dr. Gautam founded the Center for Entrepreneurship in 1973 and a few years later began holding two annual symposiums, one focused on the local and national economic outlook for the coming year and the other on the stock market. He attracted attendees by getting important bankers, business people, economists and others to give keynote speeches.
He and his advisers also recognized local business people through awards such as Entrepreneur of the Year, Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, Business Person of the Year and the Small Business Excellence Award, all of which are still being carried on today.
Dr. Gautam was quite involved in the Indian community activities as Life Member GOPIO which recognized him for his contribution to Entrepreneurship. He travelled around the world and spoke at the various GOPIO convention and forums connecting entrepreneurship and Indian cultural values.
On behalf of GOPIO, President Niraj Baxi expressed their deep sadness at the loss of a colleague in community work. “He was a warm, friendly, always ready to help the community at all times. We will miss him very much,” Baxi wrote to Dr. Gautam’s family.
GOPIO Founder President Dr. thomas Abraham said that it was a great community loss since Dr. Gautam was a motivating speaker and was always available to speak at various GOPIO conferences. Dr. Gautam is survived by his wife of 53 years, Indira, his daughter Pragati, son-in-law Dr. Anil Sharma, and their children. The cremation was done on May 1st in Feyetteville.