Strangers often ask Rick Bean (’81) if he is a University employee, because he regularly sports Georgia Southern apparel. “I normally wear my class ring, watch or some sort of logo item to work. If you think about it, I do work for the University when I wear the logo,” he said.
The Savannah, Ga.-based technology consultant has proudly supported his alma mater through the years in a variety of roles. For starters, Bean has served as the former president of the Savannah Eagle Club, an Eagle Fund donor representative, a member of the Georgia Southern Alumni Association Board of Directors, and a guest speaker for Georgia Southern’s ring ceremony. Bean acknowledges that his support of Georgia Southern has been made easier because of Julie, his wife of 27 years. “Even though Julie is an Armstrong State College graduate, she is an avid Georgia Southern fan as well,” he said.
Bean’s first True Blue experiences began as an undergraduate, when he recalled carpooling every day from Savannah with faculty, staff and students to complete his last few quarters in school. He also worked the night shift as an orderly at Brown’s Nursing Home. “I had a few very understanding professors who didn’t balk too much about my napping during 8 a.m. classes. I was always prepared for class, because there’s not a lot to do but study between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. in a nursing home. My GPA was probably highest during my employment there!” he said.
While Bean’s collegiate experiences shaped his future, he has also found that learning the inner workings of his alma mater through involvement with the Alumni Foundation has been an educational experience as well. “Watching the progress and plans for the school reaffirmed my confidence in allowing our two sons to attend Georgia Southern,” he said, mentioning Matthew (’10), and Scott, an upcoming graduate as well as co-founder and first president of the Student Eagle Club. “We are a two-generation Eagle family. Both of them are diehard Eagle fans and have been coming to games since they were able to walk. Neither was coerced into attending Georgia Southern, but I was proud and happy they did,” said Bean, speaking about the family’s shared heritage.
When Bean isn’t rounding up alumni, friends and Georgia Southern boosters for the Savannah Eagle Club’s monthly luncheon meetings, he can be found every fall observing game day rituals such as searching for his buddies in the Red Flag Gang (alumni tailgaters), watching the team arrive in the yellow buses and listening to the song “Statesboro Blues.”
Perhaps the most important objective to Bean is offering support to students through the True Blue network. “It’s important to me to give back to my school and support the current students in their efforts to better themselves in whatever field they have chosen.”