Duquesne University President Ken Gormley announced the creation of a new $1 million endowed University chair to honor one of the University’s most generous benefactors, Eugene P. Beard.

The announcement occurred at an event to dedicate the new Eugene P. Beard Center for Student Success on the seventh floor of Rockwell Hall, home to the University’s Palumbo-Donahue School of Business Administration. 

The endowment creates a new Eugene P. Beard Endowed Chair in Professional Ethics. Recognizing the scope of Beard’s achievements and contributions at Duquesne, the Beard Chair is intended to attract or recognize an esteemed faculty member, specializing in any academic discipline at the University, who demonstrates a distinguished record of excellence in professional ethics relevant to their particular field. 

To recognize the special nature of this University chair, appointments to the Beard Chair will rotate to different schools within Duquesne University, with recipients holding the endowed position for up to three years. 

“It is exceedingly rare for a president to create a University chair in this fashion; it has only happened a few times in Duquesne’s history,” said Gormley. “The fact that it is so rare and momentous conveys how much we value Gene Beard’s myriad professional accomplishments and philanthropic legacy in the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business Administration, and throughout our university more widely.”

Beard’s impact at Duquesne is far-reaching. His most recent philanthropic investments include: 

  • The Eugene P. Beard Center for Student Success, a physical space in the newly renovated Rockwell Hall that houses career advising professionals and other supports to help ensure strong student outcomes.  
  • The Eugene P. Beard Presidential Prizes for Innovation and Distinction, which benefit programs and initiatives University-wide that connect with Duquesne’s new College of Medicine, its Center for Integrative Health, or that are related to arts and culture, ensuring resources are available to maximize the impact of the medical school situated within a University. The prizes also reflect understanding of the value and necessity of vibrant artistic and cultural life, and how that can connect to an array of academic and professional pursuits.  
  • The Eugene P. Beard Business School Endowment Fund, intended to seed and support ambitious projects with the potential to elevate the national and international reputation and profile of the School. 

Beard’s most recent contributions position him as the most generous donor to Duquesne’s Palumbo-Donahue School of Business Administration in its history. His past gifts established scholarships for business students; fellowship and other funding for business faculty; awards for international study, ethics, and sustainability; and resources to fuel faculty scholarship and innovation. 

“I have been impressed with the energy with which Duquesne has not only faced down the numerous challenges of the last few years but has really strengthened its curriculum, launched the founding of a medical school, and doubled down on its commitment to the community and region,” Beard said. “I’ve also been impressed with the amazing growth and strength Duquesne’s business school has achieved. The School’s sound leadership has shown profound concern not just for preparing business leaders but for preparing people who want to make the world a better place through business practices and ideas that advance our collective good.” 

Gene Beard retired as Chairman of Old Westbury Funds, Inc., a multibillion-dollar investment company and Vice Chair of Finance and Operations at the Interpublic Group of Companies, a global advertising company. He has served on advisory boards of New York Stock Exchange, the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business Entrepreneurial program, the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard and several public and private firms. He has given philanthropically to numerous medical and educational causes, with much of his giving directed to his alma mater, Duquesne.

For more than two decades, Beard’s gifts to the School of Business Administration have transformed students’ lives, enabled groundbreaking research and improved signature programs in ethics and sustainability. The School’s One-Year MBA in Sustainable Business Practice is ranked the number one program of its kind in the United States.

A two-time graduate of Duquesne University, with a bachelor of science and an MBA, Beard is the recipient of a prestigious Ford Foundation Fellowship in business administration and economics, Mr. Beard was the commencement speaker and recipient of an honorary degree of Doctor of Ethics in Business Leadership from Duquesne in May 1998. Beard is originally from Pittsburgh, where he was born and raised on the North Side. He now resides in Florida.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,000 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.

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October 05, 2023