You are here: Home / News Release Archives / 2014 / April / Smeal College of Business Mourns Alumnus, Philanthropist John Garber

Smeal College of Business Mourns Alumnus, Philanthropist John Garber

John D. Garber ’40 passed away last month in Palm Desert, Calif. He and his wife, Bette, were significant contributors to the Penn State Smeal College of Business, establishing the John and Bette Garber Venture Capital Center for Penn State Smeal MBA students in 1999.
April 11, 2014

John D. Garber ’40 passed away last month in Palm Desert, Calif. He and his wife, Bette, were significant contributors to the Penn State Smeal College of Business, establishing the John and Bette Garber Venture Capital Center for Penn State Smeal MBA students in 1999.

The Garber Venture Capital Center—part of the college’s Farrell Center for Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship—is a $5 million venture fund that supports student-managed private equity investing in early stage technology-based companies.

“The generous contributions to our college from the Garber family have provided our MBA students with an unmatched opportunity, through the Garber Venture Capital Center, that prepares them to think critically about business, investment, and risk,” said Charles H. Whiteman, John and Becky Surma Dean of Smeal.

“It is these kinds of opportunities, provided by our dedicated alumni donors, that truly set apart the quality of our programs here at Penn State.”

John Garber completed his degree in chemistry at Penn State in 1940. He then went on to earn a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Illinois, where he met his wife, Bette Cadmus Garber. During the course of his career, Garber worked as a research chemist with companies including Standard Oil Development Co., E.M. Wanderman & Co., Merck & Co., and American Cyanamid Co. He retired in 1978 as corporate manager of industrial research and development for CPC International, Inc., a New Jersey-based company that manufactured food and laundry products.

John and Bette’s $5 million commitment to Smeal in 1999 to establish the Garber Venture Capital Center was at that time the largest gift across the country to a program of this nature. Over the course of his career, John invested in numerous start-up companies and wanted to provide Penn State Smeal MBA students the opportunity to gain experience doing so as well.

Students engage in the venture capital process by enrolling in the Garber Practicum seminar. Entrepreneurs from several prospective investment properties present their business concepts, then students perform due diligence on these firms. Toward the end of the seminar, the student teams present their findings to their peers and vote on which, if any, properties warrant an investment.

“It is these kinds of opportunities, provided by our dedicated alumni donors, that truly set apart the quality of our programs here at Penn State,” said Robert Macy, director of the Farrell Center for Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

John is survived by his three children—Douglas A. Garber, Linda J. Francis, and Randall B. Garber—and their families.

Filed under: , ,
Recent News
Businessweek ranks Smeal MBA Program No. 2 in ROI 17 Nov

The Penn State Smeal MBA Program ranks No. 2 in return on investment according to the latest Bloomberg Businessweek rankings.

Smeal Names Four New Members to Its Board of Visitors 31 Oct

The Penn State Smeal College of Business has named four new members to its Board of Visitors. Joining the board are Jon Grosso, ’89, executive vice president and director of stores for Kohl’s Department Stores; Ron Morgan, ’93, co-founder of MorganFranklin Consulting; Stephen Reeves, ’81, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Enviva Holdings; and Salomon “Sal” Sredni, ’87, chief executive officer of TradeStation Group, Inc.

Deysher Named Alumni Fellow by Penn State Alumni Association 27 Oct

Bryon Deysher, a 1977 graduate of the Penn State Smeal College of Business, was one of 21 Penn State alumni recognized in early October as Alumni Fellow by the Penn State Alumni Association. Deysher is president and chief executive officer of Methods Machine Tools, Inc. and a member of the Smeal Board of Visitors.

Price-Fixing Whistleblower and FBI Informant To Deliver Shoemaker Lecture at Penn State 15 Oct

Mark Whitacre, the corporate whistleblower who revealed price fixing at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and spent more than eight years in federal prison for tax evasion and fraud, will deliver a lecture entitled “When Good Leaders Lose Their Way” from 6 to 7:15 p.m. on Nov. 6 in 100 Thomas Building on the Penn State University Park campus.

Penn State Executive Programs Receives Gold Award for Junior Achievement Partnership 14 Oct

For its work with Junior Achievement USA, Penn State Executive Programs has won Chief Learning Officer magazine's highest executive education partnership award. The 2014 Gold award for Excellence in Academic Partnerships recognizes academic institutions that have partnered in the past year with an organization to teach its employees about a key business issue.

More Recent News... More Recent News...