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W. Roane Beard Papers

Identifier: MS342

  • Staff Only


The personal and professional papers of William Roane Beard, Executive Secretary of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association from 1951 to 1977.


  • 1936-1996


General physical description

(2 document cases and 1 half-size document case)

Restrictions: Access


Restrictions: Use

Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.


1 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

Papers belonging to William Roane Beard, Georgia Tech class of 1940, and Executive Secretary of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association. Included are personal and professional papers relating to Beard's work at the Alumni Association. Series 1 includes a T-Book from his freshman year at Tech, a book of ration coupons, correspondence, a resume, and material of the Class of 1940 W. Roane Beard Teaching Award, among other things. Series 2 contains itineraries, travel brochures, and other memorabilia collected from each of the Alumni Association tours Beard organized throughout his tenure.

Biography of W. Roane Beard

William Roane Beard was born on November 4, 1916 in Atlanta, Georgia, to Richard and Minnie Beard. He attended Boys' High School (now Henry W. Grady High School) in Atlanta, and later the Georgia School (now Institute) of Technology. At Georgia Tech, he was Freshman Class President, the Vice President of the Student Council, a member of Omicron Delta Kappa honor society and the Anak Society, the Bulldog Club, the Industrial Management Society, Interfraternity Council, and the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. Along with his club and society memberships, Beard was the starting center (number 34) on Georgia Tech's football team, and helped lead the team to the 1940 Orange Bowl Championship. Beard graduated from Tech in 1940 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management. Beard's older brother, Richard A. Beard, Jr., graduated from Georgia Tech in 1937.

After graduation, Roane Beard married Peggy Boyd and joined the Army during World War II, where he served in Puerto Rico and the South Pacific, retiring as a Major in 1946. He then returned to Atlanta, where he had four children: Ellen, Andrew, Jeffrey, and Daniel. In 1951 became the Executive Secretary of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association, as well as the Director of Alumni Services. While serving as Executive Secretary, he helped establish Roll Call, Georgia Tech's annual fund. During Beard's administration, Georgia Tech had the highest alumni giving rate of any public university in the United States. He retired from the Alumni Association in 1977.

Beard was also a member of the board of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, and the founder of the Cross Keys Kiwanis Club, as well as a member of the Atlanta Touchdown Club.

Beard died on September 21, 1996 in Decatur, Georgia, at the age of 79.


Arranged into two series:

Missing Title

  1. Series 1: Personal and Professional Papers
  2. Series 2: Georgia Tech Alumni Association Travel

Other Finding Aids

A print copy of this finding aid is available in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.


Donation, 2005; accession no. 2005.032.

Separated Materials

The visual materials in this collection have been separated and will be processed as VAM342. Two artifacts, including a Grecian textile with a handmade doll and a fan commemorating the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, have been placed in the Artifacts collection.

General physical description

(2 document cases and 1 half-size document case)

Processing Information

Lindsay Resnick and Christine de Catanzaro processed this collection in June 2012.

Inventory of the W. Roane Beard Papers
In Progress
Copyright June 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology Repository

Georgia Institute of Technology
266 4th Street, NW
Atlanta 30332-0900 USA