Jan van der Meulen was born on 25 August 1922 in Friesland, Holland. He attended school at the Gereformeerde Gymnasium in Leeuwarden and studied at the
Business School of the University of Rotterdam.
He was a pilot in the British Airforce, in Malaysia and Indonesia, and Secretary of Finances of K.L.M. For several years he managed a Dutch fertiliser company in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
He continued his studies at the University of Stellenbosch (DCom 1963) and, in 1973, attended a course at Harvard University, USA.
As a Stellenbosch University Senior lecturer (from 1961) and Professor of Business Management (1964 - 1969), he helped establish the School of Business Management. He also set up exchange programmes with universities in Belgium and Holland.
1970 - 1974: Professor of Economics & Management.
1977: Head of the Department of Business Management, University of Western Cape
1980 until his retirement in 1983: Dean of the Business School, University of Western Cape
He was the founder of the Dutch-South African Association and a member of the Senate of the University of Port Elisabeth.
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