Published 12/11/10

2010 Champion for Philanthropy David M. Beirne '85, Outstanding Alumnus

David Beirne has faithfully served Bryant University as a Trustee since 2003, sharing his enthusiasm and expertise on a number of different committees. He has also made leadership contributions that provided substantial funding for the 2009 locker room renovation and expansion at Bulldog Stadium.

Citation

Never one to shrink from a challenge, David Beirne co-founded Ramsey/Beirne Associates, Inc. on Black Monday in 1987. The Beirne approach of getting to know companies better than insiders did, scouting and courting up-and-coming leaders, and developing the skill of hearing things that are not being said helped establish the company as the premier search firm in high technology.

Ten years later, BusinessWeek listed Mr. Beirne among the Top 25 behind-the-scenes power brokers in the Silicon Valley, describing him as the tireless 6-foot 7-inch headhunter who gets the first crack at many high profile CEO searches.

A star of high technology headhunting who doesn’t know the meaning of no, according to The New York Times, Mr. Beirne’s signature talent is to persuade executives to take new jobs no matter how satisfied they think they are.

Joining the venture capital firm, Benchmark Capital in 1997, Beirne recruited Meg Whitman, then head of Hasbro’s Playskool division, to the CEO post at a little-known start up called eBay. Taking over a company she’d never heard of before Mr. Beirne’s call, Ms. Whitman eventually grew that little Web company of 40 employees into the multi-billion dollar e-commerce powerhouse.

Through all the headlines, interviews, and books recounting his “Go big or go home” philosophy, David Beirne did not forget Bryant, where his entrepreneurial drive and talents were nurtured.

Bryant students have been inspired by his success and his belief that while entrepreneurship is challenging, it is the most satisfying path anyone can take in business.

Mr. Beirne has faithfully served Bryant University as a Trustee since 2003, sharing his enthusiasm and expertise on the executive, finance, compensation, and university advancement committees.

The news that Bryant had hired Mike Pressler, the country’s preeminent lacrosse coach, was celebrated by Mr. Beirne, who had captained Bryant’s lacrosse club as a student. His $1 million leadership contribution provided substantial funding for the 2009 locker room renovation and expansion at Bulldog Stadium, now equal to some of the finest NCAA Division I facilities in the country.

Currently semi-retired and a limited partner at Benchmark Capital, Mr. Beirne spends time with his college-and high school-age sons, Tucker, Matt, and Tim, and coaches high school and youth lacrosse in his hometown. With his wife Terry, he devotes himself to eradicating cancer and funding higher education through charitable giving.

David M. Beirne, through your exceptional loyalty and support, you have helped Bryant University advance its mission of providing an education that delivers the highest standards of academic excellence, character, and ethics, within a global, real-world context.

Bryant University is honored to call you an alumnus and a Champion for Philanthropy.