Steve Goodroe is living proof that it’s never too late to reconnect to the Terry College. After graduating with a management degree, Goodroe (BBA ’71) joined Procter & Gamble and began a 30-year career that took him all over the globe, from the United Kingdom to Hong Kong. In all his travels he never forgot Terry College, but distance kept him from staying actively involved.
During those years, his consistent tie to Terry was making gifts to the annual fund. Then a chance meeting with Dean George Benson in 1999, after he moved back to the states, reconnected him with the college in ways he could have never imagined at the time. Benson invited him to be one of the speakers in an executive lecture series and later connected him with professors who invited him to speak to their classes. Goodroe was asked to join the Terry College Alumni Board and served two terms before being awarded emeritus status. Along the way, he was asked to take on various advisory roles and always answered the call, providing his expertise and volunteer leadership.
After retiring from P&G in late 2001, Goodroe led the successful startup of dunnhumbyUSA, which connected him to Terry’s Master of Marketing Research Program and its advisory board. To that, he later accepted Benson’s offer to become an Executive-in-Residence, a role he continues today. The Terry Executives are a select group of senior executives invited to share their professional experience with the students and faculty of Terry in a number of ways. Goodroe is the first to admit he didn’t maximize his potential as a student, in part because he worked his way through college.
“It’s been easy for me to say yes to the things I’ve been asked to do,” he says. “Quite frankly, the real reason behind the commitment I’ve made to Terry College and UGA is the chance to get it right the second time around.”
Goodroe was asked to help with the startup of the Music Business Program in 2007 and chaired the first advisory board. He continued to support the program through the years and recently made an even stronger connection when he decided to attach his name to the Music Business Program Suite that is part of the Phase II construction of the new Business Learning Community. His involvement has come full circle, from providing startup advice during the formation of the program to providing the necessary funding to allow the popular program to thrive and continue growing.
“Being involved from the beginning gave me a special interest in Music Business,” he says. “A lot of the great things this program does are self-funded and need support, and it’s the right thing to do.”
The inspiration to make a large commitment can pop up at the most unexpected times for donors. For Goodroe, the moment came during intermission of a London theatre production of the musical, Motown. He said to his wife, “This show is speaking to me and it’s telling me that I need to do something for the Music Business Program.” He knew the program needed support, and he found the inspiration he needed to commit to leave a legacy at Terry.
From his board service to his campaign gift, Goodroe has been sure to focus on doing the best he can for the benefit of the college. “It’s all about hard work and perseverance. Those are the book ends,” he says. “The things you learn through your education and over the course of your career form your values and principles. They are the books on the shelf. If you just apply them every day, you can achieve pretty much anything.”