Passionate about education his entire life, Rick Beyer ’66 has been both a teacher and a principal with a career spanning 34 years. Originally from the Syracuse area, Rick now splits his time between Fort Lauderdale, FL, and Baldwinsville, NY, and focuses his time and energy supporting LGBTQ equality and progressive politics, which he feels has made his life more meaningful. As a student at St. Lawrence, he became a brother of Sigma Pi during a time when its membership was so low that their chapter was at risk of losing their charter. Through the efforts of Rick and his fraternity brothers, Sigma Pi had one of the largest pledge classes on campus his senior year.
A steadfast supporter of his alma mater through gifts to the annual fund, Rick became a member of the G. Atwood Manley Society in 1990 when he checked a box on an annual fund envelope indicating that he had included a bequest from St. Lawrence in his will. In 2013, inspired by a report in the University Magazine which established inclusivity and diversity of the student body as crucial to the success of St. Lawrence as a premier liberal arts institution, Rick created the F. Richard Beyer Expendable Fund for Campus Conversations. This fund currently supports an annual speaker on LGBTQ issues, student counseling services, and so much more. Moved by the response from the students and community to this program, Rick designated the proceeds from a life insurance policy he donated to the University to endow this fund in perpetuity.
“A relatively modest amount of money and thoughtful planning can make a huge impact,” Rick notes. “When you see the impact of your support, it is an incredible feeling to know that you are not only giving back to your alma mater, but are also making a tangible difference in students’ lives.”
Rick urges fellow alumni to find the spark that inspires them and to connect that passion with St. Lawrence. He finds inspiration in these words from the University song, A Tribute: “…To her we bow in reverence, as we lay our tribute down.” In Rick’s mind, these lyrics are not just beautiful words, but also serve as a reminder to nurture the legacy of St. Lawrence University.