H. Bruce McEver has spent the better part of his life building connections between those things about which he is passionate: poetry, literacy, religion, and business.
He holds degrees from Georgia Tech, Harvard Business School, and Harvard Divinity School and is the Founder and Chairman of Berkshire Capital, a multi-national financial services advisory firm that pioneered the concept of providing independent merger, acquisition, and strategic advisory services to investment managers and securities firms.
It may come as a surprise to learn that Bruce believes that poetry formed the foundation of his business acumen and success.
Poetry has the capacity to transform and enrich the lives of both writers and readers of poems.
Bruce’s story, although rich in the prelude, begins for our purposes in 1968, the year he graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Industrial Engineering, a proficiency in mathematics, a reverence for nature, and, thanks to a great teacher, a newly found passion for poetry. In the intervening years, he has gone on to write three chapbooks and is the author of two books of poetry Full Horizon (Jeanne Duval Editions, 2005) and Scaring Up the Morning (C&R Press, 2013). In addition, his poems have appeared in many national publications including: Ploughshares, Westview, The Berkshire Review, Courtland Review, The Atlanta Review and others.
In 2002, giving back to the school that gave so much to him, Bruce, together with Henry C. Bourne, Jr., established Poetry at Tech, working to ensure that in a highly specialized and technological environment students’ aptitudes in the humanities are nurtured and supported as a foundation for life-long learning. Believing that access to the broader aspects of liberal arts, including poetry, literature, and travel, will better enable students to understand the context and impact of the specialized education they are gaining. The Poetry at Tech program has evolved into one of the premier showcases of poetry in the Southeast.
To listen to Bruce talk about Poetry at Tech in a video titled “Poetry at Work”, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDK_CflwyC8
Others agree: The poet Tony Hoagland, in an article written for Harper’s Magazine, makes the case that poetry, among other things, teaches the ethical nature of choice, respects solitude and self-discovery, and builds our capacity for imaginative thinking. Reference: Twenty Little Poems That Could Save America, found at: http://harpers.org/blog/2013/04/twenty-little-poems-that-could-save-america/
And former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins is involved in Poetry 180, a joint project with the Library of Congress that is working to bring poetry into American high schools. See: http://www.loc.gov/poetry/180
The study of religion has played an equally important role in his life, both personal and business.
From The Foundation for Religious Literacy (TFRL) website:
TFRL was created by Bruce McEver and Ronald Thiemann to foster inter-religious literacy and understanding among leaders in business, education, journalism, law, and politics. The Foundation supports educational outreach programs that assist leaders in realizing how religion affects the global society in which we live.
Religious literacy and inter-religious understanding enable a deeper appreciation of the cultures within which we conduct our work. Sympathetic understanding of the religious influences that shape the workplace enhance professional effectiveness, ethical leadership, and personal conduct.
He also was the visionary benefactor behind Harvard University’s Business Across Religious Traditions (BART) program, through which he and Ron Thiemann created educational modules on economic ethics in Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, Taoism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. Programs have been offered in Boston, London, New York City, and San Francisco, often in collaboration with local Harvard Business School Clubs.
To listen to Bruce’s story, click on links below:
Copyright Story Preservation Initiative. All rights reserved. 2013