Ronald J. Beerman, IE 1973, and Carol T. Beerman believe strongly in the value of higher education, particularly at the graduate level. “My wife and I both pursued graduate degrees, and we want to create similar opportunities for others,” he said. Beerman went on to earn an MBA from Harvard, and Carol earned a master’s in education. Both have had successful careers in their chosen fields, and both give a lot of credit to their educational experiences.
“I was very fortunate to go through the industrial engineering school at Georgia Tech, and then afterwards to earn my MBA,” Beerman said. “Both programs helped me understand how to systematically analyze and solve problems.”
Now the Beermans are giving back to the Institute in the form of four endowments, all of which support faculty and graduate students in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) and the Ernest Scheller Jr. College of Business.
In ISyE, the couple focused their philanthropy on two of the areas of greatest opportunity for the School. The Beermans’ support is directed toward “keeping the brightest graduate students — particularly Ph.D. candidates — at Georgia Tech through endowed research and teaching assistantships, and an endowed flexible faculty support fund,” Beerman said. “Georgia Tech’s ISyE School is perennially ranked No. 1 in the country for both its undergraduate and graduate programs. It is a tremendous resource, and it just makes sense to support and expand the School.”
Similarly, the Beermans wanted to help support the Scheller College of Business. “With all of the assets and disciplines of Georgia Tech to draw upon, the Scheller College ought to be, in time, one of the top five MBA programs in the country,” Beerman said. “That starts with recruiting top students and professionals who — without strong financial support — would presumably enroll in another top MBA program, while also recruiting and retaining the absolute best faculty.” The Beerman endowments allocated to the Scheller College are designed to help achieve these goals.
“Harvard Business School introduced me to some extremely bright, good people, and for that opportunity I am grateful beyond words or deeds,” Beerman said. “But we have an opportunity right here at Georgia Tech to build a graduate business school that is second to none, and in doing so to provide similar exposure and opportunity to an expanded universe of future business leaders. If my wife and I can play a small role in that, then our efforts and our support of the College will have been rewarded.”
This article was originally published in the 2020 summer issue of Georgia Tech's Philanthropy Quarterly Magazine