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In Memoriam: A Tribute to Roberta Scheller

Roberta Scheller, the beloved wife of Ernest (Ernie) Scheller Jr., passed away on May 3. The Scheller community remembers the legacy she leaves behind.
Roberta Scheller

Roberta Scheller

Mrs. Roberta (née Rosen) Scheller passed away peacefully on the morning of May 3, 2024.

Roberta was born in New Canaan, Connecticut. She attended the Parsons School of Design in New York City as a young woman after transferring from the University of Connecticut. In 1954, Roberta met and married Ernest (Ernie) Scheller Jr., and they remained married for 70 years. Throughout their marriage, Roberta was a dedicated partner to Ernie as he grew his company, Silberline Manufacturing Inc., in Pennsylvania. She was the mother of two children, Ernest Scheller III and Lisa Jane Scheller, and a grandmother to Zary and Leo Peretz.

Even while supporting a growing family, Roberta knew the value of higher education and began attending night classes at Drexel University in Philadelphia in 1975. While she couldn't complete her degree then, in 2012, she was bestowed a Bachelor of Science from the College of Media Arts and Design by Drexel President John Fry.

That same year, the College of Management at the Georgia Institute of Technology received a donation of $50 million from Ernie, and the College was renamed the Scheller College of Business. Roberta was a well-respected and beloved member of the Scheller community, and Roberta and Ernie are known by their lovable moniker "Bert and Ernie."

President Ángel Cabrera of Georgia Tech highlighted their impact, stating, "Roberta had a profound impact on Georgia Tech, most notably with the generous endowment she and Ernie provided to establish the Scheller College of Business. Their transformative philanthropy elevated Georgia Tech to a national platform as a leading business school."

Steve Salbu, former dean, Cecil B. Day Chair in Business Ethics, and professor of Law and Ethics, recalled his memories of first meeting Roberta. “I remember meeting Roberta in 2006 when she and Ernie were both wonderful friends to what was then the College of Management," he said. "Over the years, she became a wonderful friend to me as well. She truly loved Georgia Tech and the Scheller College of Business, and like so many, I will miss her dearly.”

Roberta exemplified the humility and generosity of the Schellers. Beyond her commitment to the College, her extensive support for interfaith communities in Vail, Beaver Creek, and Edwards, Colorado, alongside her contributions to scholarships, health organizations, and Jewish causes, continues to have a meaningful impact on the lives of others.

Maryam Alavi, former dean, Elizabeth D., and Thomas M. Holder Chair, and professor of IT Management, reflected on Roberta’s personal qualities. "Roberta was an uplifting presence whose kindness, strengths, and generosity deeply touched us all. I will miss her, and I will never forget her warmth and grace."

Prior to formally stepping into his role as at the College, Anuj Mehrotra, dean and Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. Chair, had the chance to meet the Schellers. “I had the privilege of meeting Roberta last fall. I felt such a great sense of welcome and belonging from her,” he said. “Alongside Ernie, her profound care and commitment to the College has not only enriched our community but also leaves a lasting legacy, urging and inspiring us to continue making a positive impact."

Roberta's legacy will live on in the lives of the countless Georgia Tech community members. “As we mourn her loss, we also celebrate her remarkable life and the many ways she enriched our institution. Her legacy will continue to inspire us to strive for excellence and make a positive impact in the world. As a dear friend, we will miss her deeply," said President Cabrera.

We invite all members of the Scheller community to share their thoughts and condolences for the Scheller family. These thoughts will be compiled and presented to the Scheller family as a collective tribute.

To learn more about Roberta and her remarkable life, read "A Life of Determination and Generosity: Meet Roberta Scheller, Honorary Alumna '13."

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