Parent Philanthropy Feature: The Blumer Family
The Blumer family is one of the many families that have created a legacy of support for Georgia Tech through both volunteerism and philanthropy. Georgia Tech parents Beth and Fred Blumer have served on the Parents Advisory Board since 2009, and the couple has provided philanthropic support as well as volunteer leadership and service through their roles in the Parents Association. They have two children—Elizabeth, who graduated with a Management degree in 2012, and Tanner, an Industrial Engineering major who will graduate in December of 2015.
We recently had the opportunity to speak with the couple about their involvement with Georgia Tech and the Parents Advisory Board. According to the Blumers, being parents to Georgia Tech students means having “the confidence of sending your children to the one of the country’s highest ranked institutions and knowing that they will graduate with outstanding college experiences and that they will be among the most highly recruited students in America.” The Blumers are also grateful for their children’s experiences outside of the classroom, stating that the “co-op and internship opportunities offered by the Institute are without equal.” Their children have had incredible opportunities to work with major global brands like Coca-Cola, BP, and Siemens, as well as some Georgia Tech-based startups. Elizabeth and Tanner were also able to take advantage of international academic experiences and studied abroad at Oxford (Elizabeth) and Cambridge (Tanner). These transformative international experiences are often what set Tech students apart from others as they continue to gain a better understanding of the world.
For the Blumers, the Parents Fund for Student Life and Leadership is essential to ensuring that students can have the full college experience, especially during times of budget cuts and funding challenges. At Tech, student tuition and fees only cover approximately 19% of the Institute’s operating budget, leaving a large gap for funding for student life initiatives. The Institute relies on the support of corporations, foundations, alumni, friends, and parents such as the Blumers to enhance the education experience of all Georgia Tech students. The Blumers said that parent philanthropy not only provides Georgia Tech with “the opportunity to provide more student programming, but also creates an opportunity for parents to continue to be involved with their student’s overall experience.” They added, “It’s a great way to give back for the unparalleled preparation their students have received for success in life.”
Both Elizabeth and Tanner are remarkably successful. Elizabeth is a former Miss Georgia Tech (2011), and currently works for Google as a Product Marketing Manager in Silicon Valley. Tanner is finishing his final year at Tech, taking a full load of courses, and working as a software developer at Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center for Clean Hands Safe Hands, Inc., a startup. Their successes can be credited, in part, to programs supported by the Parents Fund. Events like Sting Break, Team Buzz, and Midnight Breakfast promote the overall well-being of students and are essential to creating well-rounded professionals who will be the next generation of industry and community leaders.