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Numbers Game: School of Business Alumna Knows Every Donation Counts

Barbara Beeler

Barbara Beeler has created a scholarship for USD accounting students to reward hard work, determination and focus.

Ever since she can remember, Barbara Beeler, CPA, CGMA and CGFM, has been great with numbers. Whether counting leaves on the quaint streets near her childhood home in Sterling, Ill., or finalizing figures on large-scale budgets for the Marine Corps, doing the math hasn't just been easy for the University of San Diego School of Business Administration (SBA) alumna - it's been fun.

"I don't know, I guess I've just always had a good grasp of math," the amiable staff accountant for Marine Corps Air Station Miramar understates. "Numbers, stats and things like that were interesting to me."

Barbara, who earned her bachelor's degree from USD's School of Business Administration in 1987, along with a master's in accounting and financial management in 2006, is committed to giving back to the institution that has helped her cultivate a 26-year career with the federal government and the Department of Defense.

"The School of Business is getting a lot of awards right now in a variety of areas, and it's because the students are really excelling in an environment that promotes learning," Barbara says. "You can't really have that without alumni support, which is why I think it's so important to stay involved. It's really important for me to give, because I'm giving back to something that I really believe in - and that's education."

Beeler believes that any contribution, if managed properly, can make a real difference for the Toreros of tomorrow. "I know it might not seem like it, but every little bit helps," she explains. "I think it's safe to assume that a lot of people are really worried about what the economy is going to do - and so am I - but I think that there are ways to donate smaller amounts of money that, when combined with similar contributions, can be invested and become something much bigger."

In order to maximize her dollar value, Barbara met with School of Business Professor Diane Pattison to plan out a way by which she could contribute a set amount of income that, over time, would grow into a scholarship for an accounting student at USD. In the years since that meeting, her gifts have led to the creation of a scholarship that rewards hard work, determination and focus; values that Barbara herself embodies.

"I've had cerebral palsy since I was born, and it affects the left side of my body," she reveals. "I understand how difficult it can be when life presents you with major obstacles, but I also know how rewarding it can be to overcome those obstacles."

Speaking of which, Barbara recently earned her CPA license after 23 years of determined effort, and was quick to credit the School of Business Administration's faculty for helping provide her with the tools she needed to achieve this lifelong goal.

"My experience in the School of Business Administration was supported by faculty members who really went the extra mile to enhance their students' experiences," she says. "I'm grateful to have had that, and I hope today's SBA students realize how lucky they are."

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