A chance encounter reconnected Tom Beyard ‘77 with TU, resulting in $1M gift. Tom found a passion in giving to TU women’s basketball and the athletic program and, as a result, has become an ambassador for Tiger Athletics.
Tom Beyard ‘77 doesn’t characterize himself among the best alumni since he lost touch with Towson University for more than 40 years. But a chance encounter, through the Maryland National Guard and TU Athletics, reconnected him with his alma mater in 2014, and he has been a loyal ambassador for the university and Department of Athletics ever since.
Beyard, who retired in 2019 as a command sergeant major after 37 years of service to the National Guard, recently established a bequest to create the CSM (Ret) Thomas B. Beyard ’77 Endowed Athletics Scholarship and support the Women’s Basketball Enhancement and the Athletics Capital Projects funds. He is showing that it is never too late to reconnect and give to the university.
“I just turned 65 and started thinking more about the future,” says Beyard. “Now’s the time TU needs all the support it can get. I decided I was going to make my commitment now to be a good example to others.”
Beyard has bonded with the women’s basketball program, which is led by coach Diane Richardson, because he admires their hard work.
Richardson describes Beyard as “part of our family.”
“Not only has he been a tremendous supporter of our program in so many ways, but our student-athletes consider him part of the team,” Richardson says. “They look for him in his seat at every home game. His presence gives our team so much life and joy, and we are so appreciative of his time and commitment to our competitive excellence. He has really made a difference in the student-athlete experience here at Towson.”
Inspired by the Sgt. Major Wardell Turner ‘89 Scholarship, created in 2015 in honor of the former football defensive back killed in action in Afghanistan, Beyard presented the idea of honoring a Maryland National Guard soldier killed in Afghanistan—former wrestler Major Robert Marchanti II ‘89.
The Marchanti scholarship now exceeds $40,000.
“Tom has changed lives,”
Tim Leonard, TU director of athletics
Beyard’s view of philanthropy focuses on more than just money. He views it as the effort in helping others. “Sometimes it’s know-how; sometimes it’s grunt work; sometimes it’s money,” he says. “Everybody has something to contribute.”