Breadcrumb

John Beyer ’62 remembered as kind, generous

John Beyer ’62, the former chairman and CEO of a global economics consulting firm, was remembered today for his generosity, integrity and kindness. Mr. Beyer, who was to receive the Pacific Alumni Association’s Distinguished University Service Award on Jan. 25, died Thursday, Jan. 16.

John Beyer ’62 remembered as kind, generous

John Beyer ’62, the former chairman and CEO of a global economics consulting firm, will be remembered for his generosity, integrity and kindness.

Mr. Beyer, who was to receive the Pacific Alumni Association’s Distinguished University Service Award on Jan. 25, died Thursday, Jan. 16.

“John was an example of what it is to be a lifelong Pacifican,” said Rena Fraden, dean of the College of the Pacific. “He came here as a student, seized the opportunities Pacific offers, met lifelong friends and partners, and went on to live a good, successful, purposeful life. He was a leader in his field who helped other Pacificans to achieve their goals. The Pacific community is saddened by his loss.”

While at Pacific, Mr. Beyer became friends with former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson ’62. They were fraternity brothers and partners on Pacific’s speech and debate team. They remained lifelong friends.

“John’s a brilliant individual,” Olson said of his friend during a June 2019 interview. “Integrity, decency and honor are words I would use to describe him. And he’s a very thoughtful, kind individual.”

Mr. Beyer, who played on Pacific’s basketball team and was ASuop president his senior year, graduated with highest honors, earning his bachelor’s degree in philosophy. While at Pacific, he met his wife, Geraldine “Jinny” Beyer ’63, who graduated with honors in communication and French and later founded the Jinny Beyer Studio. Mr. Beyer went to the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University where he earned master’s degrees in international and development economics (1963) and law and diplomacy (1964), and a doctorate in international and development economics (1966).

He spent nearly 45 years as a consultant, economist and expert witness at the international economics consulting firm Nathan Associates, where he also served as CEO for 30 years.

Seeking to make a transformational difference for the university and California, Mr. Beyer spent years investing in Pacific’s students and professors, giving more than $3 million to the university in his lifetime. In 2015, he cemented his legacy with the creation of the following endowments:

  • The John C. Beyer Chair in Economics that will support a professor to research and teach environmental economics beginning this year. Mr. Beyer believed Pacific is ideally suited to do this given its location, the public policy administration graduate and water law programs on the Sacramento Campus and its strong Department of Economics.
  • The Nathan Scholars Experiential Learning Endowment where each summer two Pacific students receive pay while gaining real-world experience in economics consulting at Nathan Associates. “Working in Washington, D.C., for Nathan has been an amazing experience and a substantial step toward my career goals after graduation,” Nathan Scholar Alayna Myrick ’19 said of the experience. In addition to performing meaningful work at a world-class consulting firm, students are also encouraged to engage with Washington’s network of policy consultants. Beyer personally took students to events where they learned to network. “The Nathan Scholars Program takes interns to a whole new place and plugs them in there,” economics professor Farley Staniec said. “It’s not an internship where they’re making copies. It really is designed to give them experience doing consulting, doing what economists do.”
  • The John Beyer Endowed Fellowship in Economics research fund to enhance the academic reputation of Pacific’s Department of Economics. The fund helps pay for software, conference travel or other support for faculty who are conducting front-line research on pressing economic issues.

Other philanthropy by Mr. Beyer and his wife have benefited the arts, a land conservancy, and social services and food pantry agencies, including the United Way of the National Capital Area and Northern Virginia Family Services.