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
Supply Chain's Preciado Honored for Teaching Excellence 29 Jul

Felisa Preciado, clinical associate professor of supply chain management, has been named the 2014 recipient of the Penn State Smeal College of Business Fred Brand Jr. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Summer Business Program for High Schoolers Facilitates Diverse Penn State Network 28 Jul

The Business Opportunities Summer Session (BOSS) Program, facilitated by the Penn State Smeal College of Business’ Diversity Enhancement Programs, connects underrepresented high school students with current Penn Staters and alumni to provide an inside look at the business majors and beyond. Currently in its eighth year, the program is helping to create a powerful network as it continues to share the value of a Smeal education with a diverse population.

Why Aren't Consumers Buying Remanufactured Products? 28 Jul

Firms looking to increase market share of remanufactured consumer products will have to overcome a big barrier to do so, according to a recent study from the Penn State Smeal College of Business. Findings from faculty members Meg Meloy and V. Daniel R. Guide, Jr., indicate that consumers perceive many categories of remanufactured products as dirty and disgusting.

Penn State President Emeritus Rodney Erickson Joins Smeal Executive MBA Students in Celebration 25 Jul Penn State President Emeritus Rodney Erickson Joins Smeal Executive MBA Students in Celebration

About 30 students celebrated their completion of the Penn State Smeal Executive MBA Program last month in a pre-commencement ceremony held at the Business Building on Penn State’s University Park campus, with former University president Rodney Erickson delivering the commencement speech.

Smeal's Multimedia Team Recognized for Providing Valuable Student Service 24 Jul

A group of Smeal College of Business staff members were recently recognized for their efforts to provide students with professional portraits for their LinkedIn profiles. The Penn State Information Technology Resource Responsibility award was granted to the Resource, Instruction, and Information Technology (RIIT) Group’s Multimedia Team.

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