Alumni Highlight: Bob Beauchamp

The News Magazine of HCU

Robert “Bob” Beauchamp ’87 remembers the tumultuous time that led to the decision to further his education. “Due to the great oil bust that started in 1982, the year I graduated from college, the job market began to fall hard in Houston. By the mid-1980s, Houston was going through a terrible economic recession. Unemployment in Houston was over 12 percent, and thousands of homes were being foreclosed every month. Unlike today, with interest rates near zero back then, my home mortgage rate was over 14 percent and inflation was running wild,” he said. “I was married and a struggling computer salesperson worried about our family’s future. A wise person told me the best investment over the long-term would be an investment in my own education. I decided to find a graduate school that I could attend at night after work, and on weekends, that would be taught by people who cared about the students at a personal level.”

Bob Beauchamp

Beauchamp learned about HBU’s business program, which was innovative in its time. “HBU had just launched a program for working professionals to earn a Master of Science in Management. The program used cameras, TVs, and conference call systems stationed around the city at places like Transco, where my wife Laura worked, and at other places like Compaq Computers, and some energy companies. The technology allowed the students to connect with other students around the city, and the HBU professors back at HBU’s campus,” he said. “In other words, they were using Zoom-like virtual classroom education. It fit my schedule perfectly and my company agreed to help pay for it, which was great because we were nearly broke, so I started the program and loved it.”

The friendships Beauchamp established stand out to him. “I met some great people who were students in my Transco classroom including one who was with NASA during Apollo 11. I also met some great teachers and staff at HBU. I had many great teachers, but one professor I recall well was Dr. Robert Bush who taught Finance. I really learned a lot from his class. I had the great privilege of telling him that years later. I also recall Clay Porter who set up and ran the technology that made that virtual learning happen, way before its time. I met so many great people like George Flowers, Dr. Hodo, and of course, Dr. Sloan, who I knew from my board service at Baylor,” he said. “I graduated with a Master of Science in Management in 1987. In 2009, I was honored to be granted a Doctor of Humane Letters from HBU.”

Beauchamp still benefits from his education. “I was selected to be the CEO of BMC Software in 2001, a position I held for 16 years. I was not in the room when the independent board of directors made that call. I never asked them, but I feel certain that having that degree on my resume made an important difference. In fact, I suspect that had I not earned that degree from HBU, I would not have been selected for the role that changed our family’s lives forever. HBU helped give me the strong educational foundation I needed to deal with many of the fascinating aspects of running business operations in the decades ahead,” he said. “I am proud of graduating from an unapologetically Christian university. HBU played a key role in my life and continues today helping young men and women prepare to give back to world by being well-educated and balanced in their worldviews.”