Who is Bryan?

Posted on November 22, 2016

Five Things to Know About the Man Behind the Bryan School Name

Students in the Bryan School of Business and Economics receive encouragement to not only excel in their studies, but to consider how they will improve the organizations in which they work and the communities in which they live. One inspiration in these endeavors can be found in the school’s namesake – Joseph McKinley Bryan, Sr.

1. An altruist at heart

As the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation would attest, Joseph McKinley Bryan was a “man who had a ‘love affair’ with his community. Mr. Bryan was determined to improve the community for current and future generations. His handprint in the area is palpable, and is honored by familiar names such as the Bryan School, Bryan Park, and Bryan Boulevard.

2. Kathleen P. and Joseph M. Bryan Fellowship

A Bryan School scholarship named after Joseph and his wife Kathleen is awarded to undergraduate and graduate business students based on academic merit. Numerous students each year enjoy this aid that is offered through the Kathleen Price and Joseph M. Bryan Endowment Fund.

3. Man of many industries

While being best known for his involvement in the insurance industry, Mr. Bryan experienced various occupations. He served as a medical sergeant in World War I, managed trade for a cotton broker in Haiti (which led him to earn a seat in the New York Cotton exchange at the age of 27- as the youngest member ever), and helped launch the first television station in the Carolinas.

4. A helping hand beyond Greensboro

After losing his wife Kathleen to Alzheimer’s in 1984, Mr. Bryan was driven to battle the disease. His generous donation allowed the Duke University Medical Center to become a pioneer in the field of Alzheimer’s research. Today, the department is known as the Joseph & Kathleen Bryan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

5. The Bryan legacy

The Joseph M. Bryan Foundation is actively involved in the development of projects that enhance and promote the Greater Greensboro area. The vision of Mr. Bryan guides the foundation’s approach, as they proactively address communal problems. As stated by the foundation, their mission is the “economic, cultural and recreational enrichment of the lives of greater Greensboro citizens.”

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