Planned Giving Sparks Creativity in Owen’s Deaner Scholarship

Bryan Deaner
Bryan Deaner (Diana Sell)

“Something I learned from my parents is that it’s an honor to do good work. What I’ve learned from so many others is it’s an honor to give back.” 


After visiting more than 20 graduate schools, Bryan Deaner decided Owen Graduate School of Management was the perfect fit to harness the power of his creativity and love of technology. Deaner, MBA’93, came to Vanderbilt with an undergraduate degree in electrical and electronics engineering and a strong desire to activate his left and right brain capabilities and interests.  

While at Owen, Deaner developed close relationships with professors and classmates, and he has spent the last 30 years planning his ongoing involvement. 

“I wanted to have a lifelong connection to the school in meaningful ways,” Deaner says. “That has evolved over the years from interviewing students for jobs to being on the Alumni Board of Directors for Owen. Now it’s about investing in future students by establishing a scholarship in a real and significant way.” 

Deaner has made a multi-layered gift that includes a bequest to ultimately support the Deaner Creativity Scholarship for students at Owen. Through a thoughtful approach, and in partnership with the Vanderbilt Development and Alumni Relations team, Deaner’s gift also incorporated current-use funding for scholarships at Owen. With this portion of the gift, Deaner leveraged a matching gift program with his employer for additional support.  

When thinking about the purpose of this scholarship, Deaner says: “I want to give back to future generations and, in a small way, inspire their next steps. If my professional creativity and passions can also spark their imagination, then it’s been rewarding. I hope these students are fearless innovators and risk takers, and I hope they believe in infusing creativity and their own strong voice into the Owen program.” 

Dive deeper and read the full story by Erin Steinbrüchel Holt, BA’05, here.

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