WVU finance grad creates STEM scholarship

With 33 years of experience as a financial investor in global and U.S. equities, West Virginia University alumnus George Bicher recognizes the value of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the changing global economy.

This motivation led Bicher (B.S.B.A. Finance, 1980) to endow a scholarship for undergraduate students studying biochemistry, biology, chemistry, mathematics or physics in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.

“The world has changed since I graduated with a business degree. While business skills are valuable, STEM-educated people are in short supply,” said Bicher, a senior managing director and asset class chief information officer for Fundamental Emerging Markets at State Street Global Advisors (SSGA). “I am aware of many businesses starved for engineers and mathematicians. If our country is to remain competitive we need broader expertise in STEM fields.”

The Phyllis Kline Bicher Endowed Scholarship is named in memory of Bicher’s mother, who he describes as his “biggest believer and one who loved West Virginia.”

“I've reached a time in my life where giving back makes sense. I look for opportunities to give financially as well as with time,” Bicher said. “WVU means a lot to me, and I am always moved by my memories and by the great care being put into the campus.”

Bicher also serves as the senior portfolio manager for SSGA’s Global Emerging Markets Equity strategy. He was previously the chief risk officer of GE Asset Management and a trustee for GE Pension Trust. He also held positions in corporate bond research, investment banking and equity research for Deutsche Bank Alex Brown, Salomon Brothers, Drexel Burnham and Kidder Peabody. Prior to moving to the private sector, Bicher was a bank examiner with the Comptroller of the Currency.

“I left WVU with a ton of confidence. WVU gave me the opportunity to grow and to learn how to learn,” Bicher said. “It has taken me on an incredible journey. My WVU experience helped me accept challenges and tackle uncertainties.”

The Phyllis Kline Bicher Endowed Scholarship will be available for the 2018-19 academic year. To learn more about Eberly College scholarships, visit http://eberly.wvu.edu/students/current-students/scholarships.

This donation was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. Conducted by the WVU Foundation, the fundraising effort will run through December 2017.

July 24, 2017